Govt to discuss market access with trade allies

Govt to discuss market access with trade allies

New Delhi: India is drawing up a list of market access and non-tariff barriers(NTBs) hurting its goods and services exports and would take them up with the respective trade partners as it seeks to give a fillip to outbound shipments. The commerce department has begun the exercise with barriers such as registration requirements, higher pesticide levels and domestic standards, put up by Africa and 12 Central Asian countries, including Russia, and would then study the restrictions imposed by other trading partners. “We are doing this exercise because despite good relations with many countries, our exports to them haven’t grown commensurately,” said an official. Resolving NTBs is crucial as lower import tariffs sometimes do not benefit exporters because of technical barriers. In FY23, India’s goods exports were $451.07 billion. In April-December FY24, exports fell 5.7% year-on-year to $317.12 billion.India may clock goods exports between $440 billion and $450 billion in FY24, as per industry estimates. “The US has raised concerns related to India’s quality control orders, which it considers as non-tariff barriers. These issues came up at the recent Board of Trade meeting as well,” said an industry representative.Indian exports of basmati rice, tea, poultry, bovine meat, fish and chemical products to the EU, garments to Japan, and meat, fish dairy and industrial products to China have been subject to NTBs in the past.The US and the EU have raised with India concerns related to technical barriers in the areas of toys, electronics & ICT, telecommunication and alcoholic beverages.While India has also raised EU’s hazard-based approach to plant protection products and setting of import tolerances, the official said that more work needs to be done to reciprocate to such measures. Recently, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said that India will impose NTBs on a reciprocal basis and asked industry for data on such measures to help improve the country’s position in trade negotiations.

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