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Harness FTAs to boost exports: Goyal to industry

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 05-08-2022 Anish Mondal
He also expressed optimism that a proposed trade agreement with the UK will be clinched this year. © Provided by The Financial Express He also expressed optimism that a proposed trade agreement with the UK will be clinched this year.

Commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal on Friday asked industry to study the free trade agreements (FTAs) the country has signed and identify areas where domestic suppliers have a competitive edge so that they can boost exports.

He also expressed optimism that a proposed trade agreement with the UK will be clinched this year.

Goyal huddled with top executives of various export promotion councils (EPCs) and senior government officials, as he reviewed the country’s export prospects, days after outbound shipments of merchandise dropped, albeit marginally, for the first time since February 2021. Exports in the first four months of the fiscal were still up 19% on year, even on a high base, to $156 billion. With recession fears in key markets — the US and the EU — mounting, Indian exporters are bracing for tough times.

Exports hit a record $422 billion in FY22, far exceeding the earlier peak of $330 billion, on the back of an industrial resurgence in advanced economies, which is now losing momentum.

Given the external challenges, Goyal called for a joint effort involving exporters, EPCs, government agencies and Indian missions abroad to boost outbound shipments.

The minister said the government has been supporting exporters through various means and asked the export bodies to step up efforts to scale up shipments, well beyond last year’s level.

Six crore flags ordered

Textile secretary UP Singh said the ministry is working with a select group of private companies to supply six crore flags to state governments and the department of post by August 12 to give a leg-up to the government’s Har Ghar Tiranga (Tricolour in every house) initiative. As many as 5.12 crore flags have already been produced.

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