Reduce dependence on imports, Piyush Goyal tells Indian industry

Concerns over market access and alignment with trade policies loom large as India weighs its role in the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity.
Commerce minister Piyush Goyal urged the industry to reduce its dependence on imported goods and step up production, taking advantage of the policies introduced by the Narendra Modi government. The government is engaging the US, EU and the UK to secure market access to India’s exports, the minister said at the inaugural session of the Exports Summit 2019 in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Goyal said the industry should be empowered to benefit from the global value chains. He said the government and the businesses must work together to make Indian industry more competitive and proactive. The minister said the government will make export schemes and export finance more predictable. Goyal suggested that Indian embassies should have representatives from states so that foreign investors have greater understanding of state-level policies.
The commerce minister said that the Export Credit Insurance Scheme will solve the problems faced by the industry in financing exports. Goyal unveiled two CII reports — “India’s Exports – Trends, Challenges, and Future Strategy” & “India’s Exports to Emerging Economies: Targeting Prospects and Chasing Opportunity” at the session.
The minister justified India’s decision not to join RCEP, a mega trade pact between China, Japan, Korea, Australia and 10 members of ASEAN, saying the country will not sign any trade treaty that will hurt the industry and exporters. India had opted out of the treaty on November 4, saying the negotiating countries failed to address India’s concerns.
Goyal said India’s existing free trade agreements resulted in an imports boom while exports increased marginally. He said industry suffered over years and their problems were not addressed. Indian exports continued to face high trade barriers in other countries and the trade deficit ballooned. He urged the industry to join the value chain with Europe, the US, ASEAN, Japan and Korea. The government is working relentlessly to support and strengthen domestic manufacturing, Goyal told captains of the industry. India must prepare itself to be part of a rule-based trading system, he said.