In a bid to make its exports more competitive, India on Wednesday overhauled its foreign trade policy and said that it would focus on the export of high value items and take steps to make it significantly easier to do business in the country.
As part of its new Foreign Trade Policy for 2015-2020 released Wednesday, India said that it will make “market diversification” the focus of its exports and would focus on supporting the export of services from the country.
The federal government has also sought to make India’s 29 states stakeholders in policy formulation by including representatives from each of the states into a new panel being formed to help in trade promotion.
Unveiling the new policy, India’s Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the government will bring in two new schemes aimed at increasing the country’s services and merchandise exports. Under the new policy, India’s nascent, yet burgeoning e-commerce sector would also be extended sops as would India’s Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Sitharaman said.
Within India’s SEZs, trade laws differ from the rest of the country in order to incentivize exports.
The new policy overhaul comes even as India faces a decline in exports. The government’s latest export data shows that in February this year, India’s exports were down 15 percent in U.S. dollar terms as compared to the year-ago period, thus negatively impacting the country’s trade balance.