Commerce ministry coming up with Africa-focused export strategy

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-11-02 14:00:00 – New Delhi

With export situation not good globally, the commerce department coming up with Africa and neighbouring focused export strategy where they can use their competitiveness in these markets to increase exports which will give a new dimension to the government's strategic push for ties with the continent that could offer a large market for Indian goods at a time of slowing global demand.

While India has offered a $10 billion credit line to Africa, the department has extended the benefits under the Merchandise Exports from India (MEIS) scheme to many goods headed for Africa to make the most of this credit.

Senior government officials led by commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman will next week apprise Parliament's consultative committee on plans to address India's continuously falling exports, with a focus on Africa and the country's neighbours. The meeting is to be in held in Goa.

At the meeting the committee will also discuss Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 and its implications on exports, the official said. The steady decline in exports has triggered apprehensions that India may even miss last year's exports figure of $310.5 billion. Merchandise exports declined nearly a quarter in September, the tenth straight month of decline, raising worries that shipments may fall short of last year's levels.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has included exports of textiles and ready-made garments including cotton fabrics, both woven and knitted, and made-ups to the African countries under the MEIS. The industry, which has been grappling with falling exports, has approved of this strategy.

Following the revision, exports of value-added and labour intensive products such cotton dyed and printed fabrics, and made-ups, to African countries such as Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Benin, Angola, Senegal, Togo, Ghana, Kenya and Tanzania are expected to receive a huge boost. "

According to Texprocil chairman RK Dalmia, the government has taken very positive step and a huge relief to the exporters of cotton textiles who are faced with declining exports.

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