Top trade advisory body to meet next week to discuss export promotion, manufacturing, competitiveness

NEW DELHI: A top advisory body on external trade will meet next week to discuss issues related to export promotion, domestic manufacturing and competitiveness in the wake of a fall in exports of traditional, employment-generating sectors such as gems and jewellery, leather, handloom and cotton yarn and fabrics.

The commerce and industry minister chaired Board of Trade (BoT), which advises the government on foreign trade policy (FTP), will meet on September 12. It last met in June when it was merged with the Council of Trade Development and Promotion to streamline the consultation process with all stakeholders for promoting trade.

“Besides export promotion and domestic manufacturing, India’s free trade agreements and domestic competitiveness are also on the agenda,” said an official in the know of the details.

The meeting comes in the wake of a decline in outward shipments in July by gems and jewellery (6.82%), engineering goods (1.69%) and petroleum products (5 %).

In April-July 2019, exports dipped 0.37% to $107.41 billion, while imports contracted 3.63% to $166.8 billion.

The new board provides a platform to states and union territories for articulating their perspectives on trade policy and help states to develop and pursue export strategies in line with the national foreign trade policy.

Its members include state ministers who are in charge of trade, secretaries of different departments like revenue, commerce, health and agriculture besides NITI Aayog CEO, Deputy Governor RBI, and CBIC chairman.

Presidents and chairpersons of industry chambers among others are ex-officio members.

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