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Foreign Trade Policy needs to focus more on agricultural products - CII

Mar '07
India should target an atleast 30 percent growth in exports for the next three years, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

The Annual Foreign Trade Policy Supplement 2007-08, to be announced by the Union Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr. Kamal Nath in the first week of April 2007 needs to focus on further simplifying the procedures for exports and imports to facilitate higher growth rates for export. The average growth rate of exports for the past 5 years is 24 percent.

The Government should continue simplifying export and import procedures for small and medium sector units, which contribute a large amount to the total exports from the country, according to Mr. Sanjay Budhia, Chairman, CII Trade Policy Committee.

Another important aspect on Trade Facilitation for India is setting a target of a maximum of 10 hours turnaround time at ports for all goods by 2010.

Agricultural exports contribute not more than 11 percent to the total India's export basket, which needs to improve given the large potential in global markets. The Foreign Trade Policy needs to focus more on agricultural products, according to CII.

Poor roads linkages with ports are the major area of concern. There is need for better linkages with ports, it takes about 16 days for a shipment to reach a port from a cluster in north India. This is almost the time taken for a shipment to reach Europe from Indian ports, according to Mr. Budhia.

Use of communication services and information technology to monitor trade flows should receive priority in the Annual Foreign Trade Policy Supplement. This will help exporters in supply chain management, which is important for good growth in exports.

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