India Trade Policy Aims To Double Exports

By Agence France-Presse Indian business forums on June 22 welcomed a government plan to forge an ambitious national foreign trade policy that aims to double annual exports to more than $150 billion in the coming years. The Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) and other national trade lobbies said the policy, scheduled to be unveiled next month, will help cut red tape and speed up transactions. "This decision should help exporters to avail of a single-window facility in their export-import matters which will simplify procedures," FIEO President Rafeeque Ahmed said in a statement. Commerce Minister Kamal Nath on Monday said the new foreign trade policy will "encompass" India's existing export-import (Exim) policy to further simplify procedures in a bid to boost Indian exports. The Exim policy aims at achieving 1% of global trade and put the stress mainly on merchandise exports, which passed $60 billion in the last fiscal year ending March 31. "The national foreign trade policy will lay special emphasis on stepping up non-IT services and farm exports," Nath said, adding it would aim to achieve 2% percent of global trade in the coming years. India's services exports account for an additional $25 billion annually. India's trade deficit grew 24.68% last month to $1.914 billion from $1.535 billion in the same period last year. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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