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Exports: Special focus on African and Latin American markets

FTA template on the anvil, says Prabhu


FTA template on the anvil, says Prabhu

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu is not fully satisfied on the 2019 export strategy and has called for special focus on boosting shipments to the African continent and Latin American markets given the huge growth potential.

India’s export performance has been “extremely good” over the past 14 months when the global trade witnessed worst ever headwinds with exporters fighting at import duty front amidst protectionism and slowed down demand.

“(But) I am not fully satisfied. I want exports to drive India’s growth. To do that, the situation is very challenging as each country is trying to put their won borders,” Prabhu told Press Trust of India in an interview published 26 Dec 2018.

Indian exports grew by 10% to US$303 billion in 2017-18 from US$300 billion in 2011-12.

“In 2019, we would like to ensure that all measures that we initiated earlier, and the new measures get consolidated and 2019 should be a new year for exports.

“So I am preparing a strategy. For each of the geographies, we will prepare a specific strategy,” he said.

He underlined the huge potential of increasing Indian exports to African continent, citing its huge potential.

Prabhu disclosed that his ministry is in the process of creating a template for a kind of free trade agreement with African countries on a market-specific profiles.

Similar plans are there for markets in Latin America, Central America, South East Asia, Central Asia and South Asia, where “our performance is at sub-optimal level” despite the huge potential for Indian exporters.

The broader plans also include collaboration with Japanese and Korean companies to increase outbound shipment of value-added marine products from India.

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