Market access

Piyush Goyal, Retail News, ET Retail

New Delhi: India will consider working with the United States on market access issues to promote bilateral trade, as Washington has indicated it is not seeking a new trade deal at this time, said Thursday. the Minister of Commerce and Industry, Piyush Goyal.

He also said Australia had shown strong interest in making an early harvest pact with India and exporters should share their areas of interest with the ministry. An early harvest with countries like Australia will help India engage with others on similar lines, Goyal said.

“The United States has kind of indicated that they are not looking for new trade deals, but we are looking to work with them on more market access issues on both sides and I think that would be a great relief as well. and a great opportunity is paving the way for our export sector, ”he said addressing the leaders of the Export Promotion Council in Mumbai.

On the proposed free trade pact with the UK, the minister said he was making good progress as the two teams are in talks.

“We’re working with line ministries on areas where we can quickly get the deal done in terms of early harvest if possible, so instead of trying to process 11,000 lines (or products), we can look at areas of early harvest. immediate interest and our immediate interest. interest, ”Goyal said.

On the Comprehensive Trade Pact with the European Union, he said talks have started because the EU is a bloc of 27 countries, an agreement with them is a much longer process. “We are going to work very hard to speed it up,” he added.

The minister also assured the industry that India will not tolerate the “same mistakes” that have been made in past FTAs ​​and is trying to allow an interactive approach this time around.

“We are engaging with all of you and the industry to ensure that FTAs ​​are developed in a fair and equitable manner, bringing more elements of reciprocity. But the FTA cannot be a one-way street. We also need to open up our markets to others if we want a bigger pie in their markets, and so my call and my request to all is to also identify areas in which we have the confidence to be able to withstand the competition. “, did he declare.

He expressed hope for a “quick win” with Australia. India has also started talks for a pact with Bangladesh.

“Our effort is to ensure that we focus on those countries where we have great potential and more with the developed world where we can compete better and where the size of the market is of considerable value,” the minister said. .

He also urged export promotion councils to study FTAs ​​and see if they contain “hidden” opportunities, as it will help India set much higher export targets for 2022-2023. He informed that exports are doing well and that they increased by 55% to reach 15 billion dollars in the first two weeks of August.

In addition, he said that two areas where significant investment opportunities exist are shipping and semiconductors.

Regarding the equalization of interests, he said that it was at an advanced stage of finalization within the government and “we hope that very soon we can issue a cabinet note on this subject”.

Regarding the remission of duties and taxes on exported products (RoDTEP) program, he said the steel, pharmaceutical and chemical sectors are not covered due to lack of adequate budget.

“But we are open-minded to take concerns into account and rectify any mistakes that might have crept in if someone thought it was damaging their industry,” he added.

He also informed the exporters that the ministry is in the process of setting up two separate divisions which will focus entirely on the service sector.

The minister said a policy would be announced for the Santacruz Electronics (SEEPZ) Export Processing Zone. truly world-class export promotion zone.

At the meeting, the Chairman of the Gemstone and Jewelry Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Colin Shah, raised the issue of announcing the e-commerce policy for the sector.

On this point, Goyal said it was at an advanced stage and “we will finalize it shortly with the Ministry of Finance”.

The minister called on the export community to also target $ 2 trillion in exports by 2030, including $ 1 trillion in merchandise exports and $ 1 trillion in services exports.

Goyal also said the ministry has asked its finance counterpart to reconstitute another committee on RoDTEP to look at any anomalies that may arise and review the demand for special economic zones and export-oriented units.

“… For the current year, there may be some constraints … (but) we are open to review it,” he said.

On the issue of online banking and exporters with separate bank accounts, he said, “The RBI might not easily agree on this point, but there could be caveats or a report. regular from that bank account to the main banker or if the same bank allows you to have two accounts.

“Some solutions to that can be easily found. It’s probably a meeting with the RBI, we can find a solution to that,” he added.

On the matter, EIFE Vice-President Khalid Khan said it was a welcome statement from the Minister as it would help exporters.

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