SME Times News Bureau | 02 May, 2012
the Golden Jubilee Celebrations function of Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
(IIFT), the President of India, Pranab Mukherjee Thursday expressed his hope
for a strong revival of the global economy in 2014.
"At a time when the global demand is yet to firm up, there is a need to
strengthen our export industry," Mukherjee said in his address today in
Mukherjee called for increasing exports for mitigating a worrisome current
account deficit situation which stood at 5.4 per cent of GDP during the period
April to December, 2012.
While feeling proud of India's performance in commodity exports, the President
said, "There is a need to monitor and exercise caution. We must ensure the
availability of enough food in the country at all times. Every citizen should
have access to affordable food."
Mukherjee outlined India's efforts to meet the challenges of global economic
downturn and said that steps like proactive stance at forging trade and
economic partnerships with several economies and trading blocs, over 158
Special Economic Zones, the Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme and market
diversification have given good results.
Speaking on the occasion, the Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and
Textiles, Anand Sharma said that even in the backdrop of a difficult global
economic climate, India's exports crossed USD 300 billion mark.
"Recognising the inherent risk of focusing on markets which are under
stress, our Foreign Trade Policy has taken a conscious view for market
diversification," said Sharma.
Sharma also added that we must remain mindful of the fact that China has
emerged as our largest trading partner which is a natural phenomena given our
geographical proximity with it.
"However, we have a huge trade deficit with China and what is a cause of
serious worry for us is the composition of trade with China as India remains an
exporter of raw-material and importer of finished manufactured goods. This is
untenable and we have taken this up at the highest level," the Minister
Speaking on the ongoing India- European Union Broad-based Trade and Investment
Agreement (BTIA) negotiations, Sharma said that the negotiators are working
within predefined mandate and their main goal is to get best possible access
for the country.
"We have to have the confidence that by engaging with the world we are
only improving our competitiveness,” asserted the Minister.
The Minister of State in the Ministry of Commerce & Industry Dr. D
Purandeswari and Commerce Secretary S R Rao also spoke on the occasion.
Director IIFT Dr. Surajit Mitra welcomed the guests.