Re-negotiate FTAs, restore GSP status with US: Experts ahead of new trade policy

NEW DELHI: Ahead of the new trade policy for 2021-26, experts have suggested that the government should take corrective steps to boost trade such as renegotiating FTAs and getting back the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) status that the US withdrew 2019 under the Trump administration.

At an industry event, Prof. Niti Bhasin, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi said that the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) leverage of India is not very encouraging and trade balance is not favorable for India in most of the FTA agreements.

She added that the New Foreign Trade Policy (NTP) should focus on incentivising the export products which are contributing significantly to the exports and has a comparative advantage for India to become a more competitive trade destination.

Stating that the US is India’s largest export market, Sanjay Aggarwal, Former President, PHDCCI said, “Government should also take up the issue of restoring GSP status with the US as it is the major market for India. Zero duty under GSP status will make Indian exporters more competitive at the global level.

Export reward mechanisms should focus on introducing schemes that will bolster the capabilities of Indian companies in areas such as technological innovation and product development.”

Nirmal Khandelwal, Co-Chair, Foreign Trade and Investment Committee, PHD Chamber suggested establishing a body to support MSME, so that it can be part of global value chains.

“Loans for the exporter are available at a very high rate in comparison to other emerging economies, so there is a need to rationalise the rate of the loan for exporters,” he added.

The upcoming New Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) for 2021-26, is expected in April 2022. (Mint)