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Stakeholder discussion with the Fisheries Industry on India-UK Trade Agreement

Trade Promotion Council of India in partnership with ICRIER organized a Stakeholder Consultation with the Fisheries industry to discuss the India-UK Trade Agreement on January 27, 2022. The discussion aimed to understand the perspectives of stakeholders on the fisheries sector’s potential, growth challenges, and the prospects of liberalization of the fisheries sector under the FTA.

India-UK Stakeholder Discussions Marine Sector

Trade Promotion Council of India organized a focused discussion with the Indian fisheries industry in partnership with Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER) on January 27, 2022. The session aimed to ascertain their views on the potential impact of the India-UK trade agreement on the Indian fisheries sector.

India is the world’s third-largest fish producer with the status of having the second-largest aquaculture. The advent of the blue revolution catalyzed paradigmatic changes to both marine and inland fisheries with growing contribution from the latter. As a sunrise sector, the sector’s exports stood at US$ 5.15 billion in 2020 (UN COMTRADE) contributing to 1.87% of India’s total exports of US$ 275.49 billion.

Over the past five years, the Indian fisheries sector has witnessed a CAGR (2016-20) of -0.23% despite the pandemic imposed trade restrictions and a whole host of adverse SPS/TBT norms in the regulatory landscape. But the transformational initiatives undertaken by the government to grow inland fisheries and aquaculture are expected to offer great opportunities for enhanced production and export expansion.

Some of the focus areas under discussion were as follows:

  • Current trends, projected growth, and trends in the Indian fisheries industry
  • Major target markets and potential.
  • What are the major strengths and weaknesses of Indian fisheries exports in the international market at present?
  • Benefits for Indian companies from the opening of markets, if formalized under the ongoing FTA negotiations
  • Tariff and duty structures across the value chain with the UK, and their impact on trade.
  • Non-tariff barriers deployed by the UK in the sector and their impact on trade.
  • View on domestic standards in the fisheries sector, and the relative ease of meeting standards in India.

Following is the list of panelists who were a part of the discussion:

  • V. Vinod, Deputy Director (QC), MPEDA
  • Anil Kumar P., Joint Director (Marketing), MPEDA
  • Dr Vijaykumar Yarangal, Joint Director MPEDA, on deputation to NFDB as Executive Director
  • Jayapalan Gopalakrishnan, Deputy Director, EIC, Kochi
  • Palanikumar Natarajan, Assistant Director (Tech), Fish & Fishery Products, EIC
  • B A Shamasundar, Secretary AFSIB, Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch
  • Alex Ninan, Managing Partner, M/s. Baby Marine International
  • Abhijit Manna, Owner, Aquatake Service Centre
  • Afsar Khan, Owner, Barkaati Enterprises

Dr. Arpita Mukherjee, Professor, ICRIER represented the prominent policy think tank at this discussion and the session was moderated by Virat Bahri, Deputy Director, Media & Corporate Communications, Trade Promotion Council of India.

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