India’s New Five-Year Trade Policy Includes Focus on Promoting Exports
The government of India recently announced its foreign trade policy for the period 2015-2020. According to a report from BMR Advisors in India, this policy aims to improve the competitiveness of Indian products in the global market and enhance India’s role in global value chains by taking steps toward improved quality in manufacturing, better branding of Indian products, simplified procedures, a unified and synchronized approach to international trade among government agencies and between government and industry, and better utilization of trade agreements. The objective of the policy is to double the country’s exports of goods and services to approximately $900 billion and increase its share of global exports from 2 percent to 3.5 percent.
Highlights of the new trade policy include the following.
- exports of defense products will be facilitated and encouraged
- emphasis on expanding ties with potential markets for Indian exports and investments such as China, southeast Asia, central Asia, Commonwealth of Independent States countries, and Africa
- increasing usage of free trade agreements, such as by relaxing the rules of origin criteria for determining value addition
- promoting special economic zones by reinstating tax and duty benefits
- inter-ministerial online communication to help exporters and importers
- allowing goods meant for use in the manufacture of exported products to be exempt from domestic standards and quality specifications
- focusing on initiatives such as single window clearance and 24/7 customs clearance for specified imports
- coordinating the exchange of data and documents among government agencies
- limiting export delays caused by state or central agencies
- conducting a study to identify areas where customs processes can be made more efficient
- reducing the number of documents required for imports and exports to three: bill of lading/airway bill, commercial invoice/packing list, and shipping bill/bill of export
- online filing of applications and documents