New Delhi [India], Aug 11 (ANI): The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Tuesday called for an open and facilitative import environment required to attract global companies and ensure competitive access to intermediate goods as part of a strategy to improve the country's competitiveness in exports.
In general, higher duties on finished goods and lower duties on intermediates should be applied, it said while outlining a 10-point agenda for increasing India's exports of goods and services in line with the Prime Minister's vision of 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'.
The CII report titled 'Re-orienting India's Export Endeavour in the COVID-19 World' says India must aim to achieve 5 per cent share in world merchandise exports and 7 per cent in services exports by 2025.
"The pandemic situation has impacted world trade negatively. However, it also provides a big opportunity for India to better engage with the world and boost its export performance. This is an opportune time for India to strengthen its domestic manufacturing through a strong partnership between the government and industry," said CII Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.
"As more and more countries are looking at realigning their trading strategies and diversifying their import sources post the COVID-19 outbreak, India must leverage the present situation to emerge as an alternative destination for sourcing cost-effective, quality products," he said.
A key point in India's export strategy must be to strengthen its participation in global value chains, said Banerjee adding that a new trade policy should be brought out at the earliest to establish a stable and predictable export policy regime.
Export finance must be expanded. GST refunds which hold up working capital must be fast-tracked. Cesses should be removed. The capacities of Export Import Bank and the Export Credit Guarantee Corporation need to be strengthened to raise resources and lower risks, said the CII report.
It said trade facilitation can be strengthened through digital tools for faster movement of goods at the border. Port dwell time can be reduced through the mechanisation of port infrastructure.
The Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme must be extended and included under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. In the medium term, it is essential to draw up a comprehensive strategy for hinterland connectivity.
The report also called for time-bound approvals and effective on-ground implementation of single window system across all states to improve ease of doing business. Industries should be allowed to directly purchase land from farmers.
On the external front, India needs to leverage existing free trade agreements (FTAs) for exports and enter into FTAs with large market nations. "India must also diversify its export basket to include more goods that are traded globally like electronics and machinery."
To strengthen India's participation in global value chains, the CII report suggested an openness to foreign direct investments for technology transfer.
The report includes specific measures for nine manufacturing sectors like automotive, chemicals, electronics, steel and textiles. In the agriculture and allied sector, CII brought out recommendations for agri produce, fruits and vegetables, marine products and processed foods.
India's goods exports declined to 313 billion dollars in 2019-20. Its share in global merchandise exports is 1.67 per cent with a low share in top globally traded items. In services, it has 3.54 per cent share. (ANI)