Millennium Post

Trade balance not really in our favour: Nirmala

Even as it expressed concern over the general adverse balance of trade position, the government on Monday said it is committed to enhancing trade engagement by diversifying to markets in Africa, ASEAN and Latin America which offer immense opportunities.

"Our trade balance is not really in favour. Simply put, we seem to be importing a lot more than we export," Commerce & Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.

The minister was here to unveil the Indian Trade Portal, aimed at providing MFN and preferential tariff rules, rules of origin and identifying technical barriers to trade faced by exporters, on a single
platform for ease of doing business.

Trade is now governed by the rules agreed upon under the WTO under which members are required to accord the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to each other which translates into the privilege of paying similar tariffs, she said.

The minister said she has identified exports as one of the most important sectors to boost the country’s economy, while urging exporters and importers to make best use of the website.

She said they could give continuous feedback for further improvement and additional details that they may need.

"For 2013-14 our trade total was $314.40 billion while we have set for ourselves for 2014-15 a $340 billion target. We need to have a lot more information to be shared among our exporters for them to handle the market better".

"We seem to be sharing only 1.7 per cent of all exports that took place in the international trade putting us at the 19th place.”
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