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New foreign trade policy likely next month; focus on e-commerce exports, hubs.

Date: 19-08-2022
Subject: New foreign trade policy likely next month; focus on e-commerce exports, hubs
The government is likely to release next month the new foreign trade policy with a focus on boosting ecommerce exports and developing districts as export hubs.

The commerce department is working on the policy that may detail ways to reduce the compliance burden on small exporters and fund MSMEs to increase exports. It may also seek to make proper categorisation of products which are at present clubbed as "others", as this system leads to misclassification and tax evasion, thereby adding to the growing trade deficit.
"We are working on ways to facilitate ecommerce exports through the policy," said an official, adding that the policy could be put in place by the end of next month.

Attention is likely to be given on MSME exports as well as developing districts as export hubs. The policy comes amid India's export growth slowing. Goods exports rose 2.14% from a year earlier to $36.27 billion in July, even as the trade deficit almost tripled to $30 billion.

In fiscal 2022, India's outbound shipments were a record $421.8 billion. The government aims to take the value to $1 trillion by 2030.

The commerce department is in consultations with stakeholders to integrate global markets through bilateral trading arrangements, government-to-government engagements and making use of the multilateral agreements of the World Trade Organization. Product and country strategies are also being discussed to diversify India's export products.

Exporters have sought a separate chapter on ecommerce in the policy that would enlist all the export benefits available to the sector that should be at par with conventional exports.

"We have suggested setting up an integrated park for cross-border ecommerce," said Ajay Sahai, director-general of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Such parks should provide comprehensive facilities such as banks, fintech companies, foreign post offices, courier terminals, logistics companies, warehouses, customs, tax refund - all under a single umbrella. Also, some space can be earmarked for packaging and small operations.

Source Name:-Economic Times

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