RTTNews - The Economic Survey for 2008-09 expressed concerns over the outlook for the trade sector this year, with IMF projecting a negative growth in world output at -1.3% and world trade volume projected to grow at -11%, indicate government data.

With declined import demand of India's major trading partners, the export of goods and services is likely to suffer. The steep fall in petroleum and commodities prices could have a positive impact in the import side and for the industrial sector. Recovery is expected next year, with the IMF projecting 1.9% growth for world output and 0.6% for world trade volume of goods and services.

The subdued global outlook calls for efforts at both national and international levels for recovery. With efforts to promote exports, the survey suggests caution against protectionist measures originating from trade partners. It stresses on the need to desist from any protectionist tendencies and proceed on the reform path.

The survey also says that along with short-term relief measures and stimulus packages, some fundamental policy changes are needed. For the merchandise trade sector, these include continuation of the reduction in customs and excise duty to make exports and industry competitive, streamlining of existing export-promotion schemes, giving special attention to export infrastructure, along with rationalization of port service charges, weeding out unnecessary customs duty exemptions and curbing the proliferation of SEZs.

In the services sector, a road map of specific policies needs to be drawn not only to overcome the impact of the current global crisis, but also to accelerate the growth of the economy and total exports as this sector has been showing a steady and promising performance with relatively lesser support.

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