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Big export push on top of govt agenda

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NEW DELHI : The government is considering setting up a dedicated overseas market development body– IndTrade– and a national branding division to get to the goal of $ 2 trillion in exports by 2030. IndTrade would work for trade promotion and the branding division will work along with the export strategy to promote “Made in India” as a global brand, a senior official said.

At present, there are 14 export promotion councils under the Department of Commerce which deal with different product groups. Besides, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) functions as an umbrella organsiation of exporters. IndTrade will not seek to replace them but take a lead in “outward looking market development” for all sectors, the source said.

For branding “Made in India” large scale targeted campaigns will be planned. The “Made in India” label scheme is likely to be announced in the first budget of the incoming government in July, sources said.

While the target is to more than double exports in next six years, for 2047 the export target is $ 8 trillion. To meet such tall targets, plans are underway to strengthen overseas market linkages through trade missions. For exporters further digitisation of trade approvals and regulatory processes are in the pipeline.

The Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) are another priority element for export growth. The plan is to accelerate bilateral and regional trade agreements with countries and economic blocks that offer high potential for securing and expanding trade markets. Also on the agenda of the government is to boost trade negotiation capabilities.

Already the Department of Commerce is working on drawing up a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for FTA negotiations. This SOP will codify all the learnings from FTA negotiations that have been held so far. The activity around FTAs has been intense in the last few years and India changed its focus to the West – where its biggest markets are – for FTAs.

In these negotiations India is pitted against countries and economic blocks with a long history of negotiating and then running economic and monetary unions and trade blocks. From the steel and coal union in 1952 and monetary agreement in 1958 to the European Union.

Logistics corridors are another area where the government sees regional trade opportunities. Earlier this month India signed a 10-year deal to operate and develop Chabahar port in Iran. This port will serve as a gateway to Central Asia and Eurasia. India-Middle East-Europe corridor is also on the drawing board.

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