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FIEO calls for early conclusion of EEU FTA

Gupta calls for supportive ecosystem

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Gupta calls for supportive ecosystem

The President of Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin addressing the India-Russia Business Business Summit on 5 Oct 2018 in New Delhi.

The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) President Ganesh Kumar Gupta has called for early conclusion of Free Trade Agreement between India and Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Tariff preference under the FTA should provide Indian exporters the level playing field with China, which has signed similar FTA in May 2018 for greater penetration in Russia and EEU markets.

The EEU includes Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

Use of International North–South Transport Corridor (INSTC) should be encouraged as it reduces voyage time and freight for exporting/importing goods to/from Afghanistan, Russia and Central Asia, he said.

The trial runs on the route has been successful, added Gupta.

He urged the Indian exporters and importers to use this route as significant volumes will further reduce the freight and add to better services.

Gupta said that Reserve Bank of India should clarify the position in respect of consignment transited through Bandar Abbas (Iran) though destined for Russia and Central Asian economies as many banks are not negotiating such documents since goods are moving through Iran.

One of the reasons for lackluster growth of exports to Russia is due to non-mapping of Indian Exports with major Russian imports.

“We need to diversify our exports to meet the imports requirement,” opined the FIEO President.

“We have over 1% share in Russian imports only in 2 out of top 10 imports.”

Gupta said that both countries need to work together on non-tariff barriers, alignments in Customs rules and regulation and mutual recognition of certification among others.

Gupta also called for trade to be in local currencies between the two countries with a third country currency as a reference point so that market driven exchange rate plays a pivotal role in trade transactions.

“This should be accompanied by extending all benefits of exports to such trade in local currency at par with trade transacted in free foreign exchange,” he stressed.

India and Russia are looking to boost bilateral trade to US$30 billion by 2025 following President Vladimir Putin’s official visit to New Delhi 4-5 Oct 2018. fiinews.com

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