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TPP likely to impact India's export share in global trade

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-10-09 14:00:00 – Singapore

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) which includes a group of 12 countries, led by the US reaching a tentative agreement earlier this week, concern is whether improved market access, tariff reductions and diversion of service trade between the TPP members, as and when it becomes effective, might erode India's market share. However, real impact is likely to be smaller as the TPP is likely to take years to implement.

Singapore banking group said that presently India’s position on trade agreements is under scrutiny as India's progress has been slow on a free trade agreement with the European nations. Of the 12 TPP signatories, India has existing free trade/cooperation agreements with three.

The TPP ratification by the signatories and other processes are expected to delay its implementation by a few more years, nonetheless India's patchy track record on free-trade agreements is feared to hurt latter's ambitious goals to double exports to $900 billion over the next five years, DBS group said in its daily economic report.

According to DBS, meeting the government's ambitious target to raise India's share in global trade to 3.5% by 2020 from 2% presently, will be an uphill task with weak global demand backdrop, collapse in commodity earnings, domestic bottlenecks and cautious stance on trading pacts.

India's exports, especially textiles and leather products might face threats, as countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia get cheaper access to the US and other markets covered by the deal.

The Indian government has taken active interest in forging deeper international ties since assuming office last year, especially to attract foreign investments for infrastructure and manufacturing facilities.

Negotiations are on-going with the ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) member countries on a separate Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which includes China but not the US.

India had expressed plans earlier in the year to join the APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation), but there has been little material progress since then.

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