“There is no appetite in the world for Mode 4 commitments”

In his exclusive interaction with TPCI, Professor Gupta talks about the various facets associated with the services trade, the different approaches to GATS commitments of developed & developing countries and more.


Trade vs food safety: Where the twain shall meet

The Agreement on the Application of Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures (which is known as SPS Agreement of WTO) sets out the basic framework and standards

“Jewellery promotion needs to be enhanced”

India enjoys a great position in the global gems & jewellery segment, when it comes to the cutting & polishing of diamonds.

Country Profile: United Kingdom (UK)

The UK economy continues to face an uncertain future as far as its membership of the EU is concerned. Brexit remains a substantial drag on economic activities. A majority of forecasters anticipate risks to confidence

Agri-exports: In search of escape velocity

Even as agriculture remains a critical sector for the Indian economy employing 58% of its population, its economic contribution to India's GDP is steadily declining.

India-US solar dispute: What did India actually win?

In 2008, when India and US signed the landmark nuclear deal, their collaboration was lauded as the most strategic and definitive partnership of the 21st century.

Farm to Fork: Is agri-marketing the missing link?

India is a leading food producer, but agri-marketing reforms are essential to catapult the country to its rightful position in global agri-trade.

Union Budget 2019-20: New India drive amidst legacy pains

The Finance Minister Smt Nirmala Sitharaman read out the Union Budget 2019-20 on July 5, 2019, amidst concerns of a slowing economy, weak investment cycle and uncertain external environment.

“Free trade hasn’t gone off completely”

We can’t say that free trade has gone off completely & it's going to be taken over by protectionism; because that is not workable in an interdependent world where almost all production is highly connected through value chains.

Product Profile: Power banks

Digitisation has made individuals reliant on a number of electronic gadgets for a comfortable, smooth and convenient life.

Trade protectionism: Can the juggernaut be stopped?

Backtracking from trade liberalisation is not a nascent phenomenon. While the US currently is leading on trade protectionism actions through tariff escalations, there are abundant evidences that it is pervasive across many countries.

Country Profile: Malaysia

Malaysia is one of the most liberal economies in the world, with a trade-GDP ratio averaging over 134% since 2010. Openness to trade and investment have been key in employment

Data & e-commerce: Protecting the gold of the 21st Century

India is rightly reluctant to protect its data - the most valuable resource of the century. Premature assent to e-commerce rules will not be sensible.


EU-Vietnam FTA: Rough road ahead?

In an era where ‘market access’ appears to have become a closely guarded national asset, ‘liberalisation’ is under siege,

G20: Keeping the spirit of free trade alive

The Thomas Friedman vision of the ‘flat world’ captured global imagination at the turn of this century. But just over a decade later,

Have India’s apparel exports bottomed out?

The Indian apparel industry has been through a tough phase with four successive years of weak growth/de-growth in exports.

H-1B – wrong bargaining chip for US?

Last week, another chapter on India-US trade hostilities threatened to unravel amid reports that US was planning to fire an H-1B salvo against India.

SOPA Chairman Visits TPCI

TPCI interacts exclusively with the Chairman, Soybean Processors Association of India (SOPA), Dr. Davish Jain

With Government’s resolve to double the income of farmers in the country by 2022, the role of agri-exports industry assumes significance to uplift financial conditions of the farmers and ensure renumerative return for farm produce.

Product Profile: Curcumin

The mounting demand of curcumin, a substance found in turmeric, in the pharmaceutical, food and cosmetic industries is a major factor driving the growth of the global curcumin market.

Logistics in India: From barrier to catalyst

With the rise of globalisation, the synergy of international trade and transport logistics has already become general direction and central theme of development for the global economy.

India-Ukraine: Exploring the upside of a trade agreement

The 4th Meeting of India-Ukraine Working Group on Trade and Economic Cooperation (IU-WGTEC), under the India-Ukraine Inter-Governmental Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific, Technical, Industrial and Cultural Cooperation was held in New Delhi in April, 2019.

Capital goods: Outperformer in India’s export basket

India’s export has increased from US$ 181.26 billion in 2008 to US$ 323.06 billion in 2018. During the past 10-15 years, India’s export basket has undergone several transformations.

Country Profile: Russia

Russia’s economy continues to surge at a decent pace, supported by global growth and an improved macro policy framework.

US & India are changing trade policies towards protectionism – Who is going to gain or lose?

The formation of WTO in 1994 was done based on the objective of moving towards a regime of trade liberalization, market access and free trade.

India, subsidies and WTO: Breaking the vicious cycle

India has been on the receiving end of a number of cases at the WTO, wherein other members have questioned its subsidy protection to specific industries.


Rate cuts: Inadequate defence against macroeconomic distress

The recent cut in short term lending (repo rate) by RBI by 25 basis points is a soft signal to improve liquidity in Indian economy without compromising on inflation targets.

Indian mangoes deserve many more connoisseurs

India is a leading producer of mangoes, accounting for around 40% of global production of the fruit. The country is home to around 30 mango varieties that are grown commercially.

The API paradox of India’s pharmaceutical industry

The success of the Indian pharma industry primarily rode on the twin pillars of expertise in reverse engineering and the Patents Act of 1970. The Act allowed for only process patents with regard to inventions relating to drugs, medicines, food and chemicals.

Product Profile: Activated Carbon

The use of activated carbon to remove harmful impurities like organic contaminants from water has been practised since Roman times.

Impact of scrap use on energy efficiency of Indian steel industry

The metal scrap industry owes its genesis and growth to the essential fact that steel can be recycled infinitely without affecting its material properties.

US-India trade: Much more to review beyond GSP

The Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) assures non-reciprocal, duty-free tariff treatment on certain products imported into the US from designated beneficiary developing countries (BDCs).

“India needs to diversify its apparel basket”

While it is true that there has been an overall decline in India’s garment exports for the period April’19-February’19, apparel exports started picking up since October last year.

“Metals and capital goods should be kept out of FTAs”

Import duties are walls designed to protect interests of domestic manufacturers against stiff and unfair competition posed by the foreign manufacturers. However, near zero or zero import duty rates as provided to countries with whom FTAs have been signed have rather gone against the spirits of the FTAs and have hit India’s domestic industries – be it aluminium, steel or copper makers as well as capital goods manufactures.

Aluminium industry: Dying a slow death?

Aluminium, a non-renewable resource is of immense strategic importance to India, one of the fastest growing economies in the world. A number of sectors including power, automobiles, construction, packaging, industrial and consumer durables are dependent on this metal.

Indian pharma: Time to treat the ‘dragon’ deficit

The Indian pharmaceutical industry is the largest supplier of cost effective generic medicines to the developed world with 35.2% share of exports destined to US followed by 3.8% to UK & South Africa. But while Indian pharma players have successfully grabbed opportunities with off-patent drugs in US, they have been unable to crack the code for the second largest economy – China.

Cross border e-commerce: Don’t place the cart before the horse

E-commerce is truly changing the nature of business around the world. Global e-commerce sales grew by 13% in 2017 to reach US$ 29 trillion according to UNCTAD, with the number of shoppers at 1.3 billion. Notably, the share of internet buyers purchasing goods and services from overseas vendors increased from 15% in 2015 to 21% in 2017, taking cross border B2C sales to US$ 412 billion.

Country Profile: Thailand

Thailand has been one of the most spectacular economic success stories as it moved from lower income to upper income status in less than a generation. The 1980s in particular brought immense economic growth and reduction in poverty levels for the country.

Are Indian agricultural prices co-integrated with global prices?

The agricultural sector in India is progressively opening up to external trade, leading to interdependency between commodity prices across diverse markets.

India needs to enter global supply chains in apparel

India is blessed with a favourable demographic dividend and has a pool of resources at its disposal that can bolster India’s garment exports.

Targeted PTA with Iran can give India a major edge

Iran is located in Western Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, the Gulf of Oman and Persian Gulf. The country is in a transition phase towards a market-driven economy.

Modi 2.0: Rebuilding the case for ‘Made-in-India’

During the past four-five years, India’s export performance has witnessed more of a seesaw trend. Merchandise exports were in continuous decline between 2013-14 and 2016-17,

Can India’s apparel sector restore the balance?

Indian textile exporters are quite bullish on the prospect of rising exports in the backdrop of the US-China trade war. For instance, the Synthetic & Rayon Export Promotion Council

Product Profile: Grapes

International trade of grapes has expanded rapidly over the last few decades, with out-of-season fresh produce now being traded and consumed globally.

Preparing Indian agriculture for the 21st century

Agriculture in the twenty-first century is reinventing itself as a new global business reshaped by globalization, standardization, high-value production, massive growth in demand (both for the food and the biofuel industries), retail and packaging innovations, and a ramp up in efficiency.

US-China Trade War: Mixed blessing for India

The last few days have witnessed an interesting turn of events in the trajectory of trade tensions between the world’s top two economies – US & China.

Electronics exports: Positive signs, but many miles to go

India’s exports posted a strong growth of around 8% YoY in 2018-19 to reach US$ 535.45 billion. But after that stellar performance in the face of inimical global trade winds, the current financial year has started on a sobering note for Indian exporters.

Country Profile: Iran

Iran is located in Western Asia sharing border with the Caspian Sea, Oman and Persian Gulf. A unique feature of Iran's economy is the existence of large religious foundations called Bonyad, whose collective budgets represent more than 30% of central government expenditure.

Will Iran crude supply constraint impact India?

India’s vibrant democracy is currently deeply involved in the last leg of celebrating the biggest festival of exercising democratic rights through general election. During the election time, many important issues often take backstage, but not crude oil sourcing, pricing and its strategic implications.

India’s CPI inflation below target, but could get worse

The Indian economy witnessed an upsurge in consumer price index based inflation, which rose from 2.86% in March’19 to 2.92% in April’19, the maximum rise in the last six months.

An ASEAN sojourn for Indian aviation

Creation of an energetic and competitive services sector is fast becoming a key characteristic of modern economies. For more than two decades, advanced economies are frequently accounting for two-thirds or three-quarters of services as the overall economic activities of GDP.

WTO Ministerial, New Delhi: Vanishing North-South divide? Not quite there yet

Representatives of 22 developing and least developing countries including China, Brazil, South Africa, Bangladesh and the Caribbean are converging in New Delhi on May 13, 2019 for a 2-day WTO Ministerial Meeting to discuss and build consensus on a number of issues.

Product Profile: Food Emulsifiers

The urge to meet safety standards and quality of food, transportation from farm to plate and storage are major challenges faced by the developed world. To cater to this demand, food emulsifiers are popularly utilised by manufacturers.

Does a US-South Asia trade agreement provide India an impetus?

In the backdrop of a persistent trade war between US and India since 2017, both sides seem to have lost optimal trade gains that were expected under normal conditions. It has been a long held view that India needs to sign a trade agreement with the US in order to benefit from the trade liberalization process.

Is India’s e-commerce policy on the right track?

A potential conflict is brewing in the WTO on the issue of formalisation of rules for digital trade. India has placed on record its strong opposition to the proposed e-commerce rules submitted by EU on April 29 at the forum.

US-India: It takes two to tango

Amidst heightened trade tensions with India, US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross came on a visit to India to attend the Trade Winds Indo-Pacific Forum. Trade Winds is the largest annual trade mission programme of the US Department of Commerce.

Renewable energy in India: Light at the end of the tunnel

After four years of brisk growth when it doubled its renewable energy capacity to 70 GW, India saw a relatively sluggish growth in terms of power capacity additions in 2018-19. The slowdown was actually visible in thermal power as well, but for an entirely different set of reasons.

Country Profile: Chile

Chile is one of the most advanced economies of the Latin American region. Its strong macroeconomic fundamentals have enabled an accelerated reduction in poverty levels from 30% in 2000 to 6.4% in 2017 (World Bank, percentage of people living on US$ 5.5/day).

Product Profile: Almonds

World almond consumption has burgeoned by 10% each year over the last five years and we are seeing significant development in demand across both developing and developed markets.

India needs to strategically pave its oil diplomacy route

India’s crude oil imports has always been a matter of discussion, even during the pre-liberalization period. The importance of oil as a trade commodity can be assessed from the oil shock of 1973, when members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) formed a cartel,

Pharma Wars: US government body puts India on the ‘Priority Watch List’

India’s pharma exports posted a strong growth of 11% YoY in 2018-19 to reach US$ 19.13 billion. This performance obscures a series of challenges faced by the industry – regulatory challenges, margin pressures, price control in Germany and Brexit.

Australia-India trade: Making amends for lost time

When we think of India-Australia trade relations, the most visible export from the land of kangaroos that comes to mind would obviously be top cricketers like Steve Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson and Nathan Coulter-Nile, during the IPL season. But both sides would have reason to believe that there is much more to the exchange beyond curry, cricket and Commonwealth.

Canada – the new ‘Land of Liberty’?

With the US on an increasingly protectionist drive, H-1B visa processes are getting increasingly more complicated. Consequently, Indian IT professionals are now exploring a new destination – Canada – which is far more eager to accept them.

WTO: Growing dissent on India’s ICT duties

The case filed by the EU against India’s import duties on ICT products at the WTO has now acquired a whole new dimension. Five countries have asked permission from the dispute settlement body (DSB) to be a part of the negotiations – US, Canada, China Taipei, Thailand and Singapore.

US sanctions on Iran: Turm‘oil’ yet again for India

After walking out of the Iran nuclear deal last year, the US had announced a 180-day waiver to eight countries importing oil from Iran in November 2018, allowing them time to seek other sources of oil. Three countries have complied totally so far – Greece, Italy and Taiwan; leaving India, China, Turkey, Japan and South Korea.

US-Mexico-Canada Agreement: Why the world should take notice

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) has released its analysis of the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the replacement for the NAFTA agreement proposed by US President Donald Trump. It estimates that the deal will improve the US economy by 0.35% when completely implemented, i.e. an increase in the country’s GDP by US$ 68.2 billion.

India’s export performance: Bucking the trend

India’s total exports grew by 7.97% yoy to reach US$ 535.45 billion during FY 2018-19, according to data released by the Department of Commerce on April 15, 2019. In line with projections last month, merchandise exports grew by 9.06% yoy to reach an all-time high of US$ 331.02 billion during 2018-19, crossing the previous benchmark of US$ 314 billion achieved in 2013-14.

Rejuvenating the India coffee story

International coffee growers are in dire straits at present due to the dual impact of declining coffee prices and increasing labour costs. The International Coffee Organisation estimates that around 25 million farmers grow coffee in 60 countries, and over 90% of these are small growers and are currently compelled to sell their produce well below the cost of production. This has pushed several of them into deep debts, and some have even abandoned their farms to migrate to the cities.

Product Profile: Pasta

Pasta is an Italian dish which is common across the world owing to its expediency and health benefits. It can be prepared using an eclectic array of raw materials such as durum wheat, semolina, wheat flour, etc.

Country Profile – Mexico

Mexico is among the world's 15 largest economies and is the second largest economy in Latin America. The country is highly dependent on the United States, its largest trading partner and destination of 80% of its exports.

RCEP negotiations: Is India destined for a losing proposition?

The changing landscape of international trade negotiations has implied an emphasis towards mega trade agreements. This approach is seen as a stepping stone towards a global free market economy, with many countries expecting it to stimulate economic growth, boost trade and investment, reduce poverty and increase employment.

Complexities of SPS under WTO: An Outlook

The WTO agreements covers a wide range of issues related to trade, such as agriculture, textiles, services, food sanitation regulations and others; however, there are a number of simple and key principles that are included in the majority of agreements.

India’s apparel exports: Getting back to the drawing board

Apparel exporters are headed for difficult times ahead, due to a decline in demand from major markets. Although exports were showing promise in the beginning of the year, there is now a decline in both volume and value terms, according to a report by Drip Capital, which analyses macro trends and proprietary data of the top 100 apparel exporters which posted business of US$ 32 billion for the year till date.

Indian economy – Silver lining amidst dark clouds?

India’s GDP growth slowed down to 7% in FY 2018-19, as per preliminary official estimates, compared to 7.2% in FY 2016-17. Agriculture grew at 2.7%, its lowest rate in three years and the services sector clocked a growth of 7.4%, its lowest in 7 years. But growth in industry has been strong at 7.7% led by manufacturing (8.1%) and construction (8.9%), even as mining grew at a much lower 1.2%.

India refuses to hop on to e-commerce bandwagon

A group of 76 members led by US, China, European Union and Japan have decided to start negotiating a new framework on e-commerce rules. Although the group is open-ended, India has declined to be a part of the discussions. India has previously opined that WTO must complete the stalled Doha round before bringing new issues to the table.

WTO fisheries subsidies: India asks for differential treatment

India is planning to submit a draft paper to protect the rights of its small and artisanal fishermen to subsidies for boats, nets and fuel. In this paper, India will make the case for special and differential treatment to developing and least developed countries on the matter, so that they can retain some subsidies critical for protection of the livelihoods of their small-scale fishers.

Indian audio visual industry: All the world’s a stage

India is home to the largest, and arguably the most diverse media and entertainment industry in the world. The country produces the maximum number of hours of content across the world – 2,000 films, 800+ TV channels, 250+ radio stations, 10,000+ newspaper and magazine editions and thousands of live events. It has the world’s largest film industry, both in terms of tickets sold and number of films produced.

Country Profile – Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan spent most of the past 200 years as part of the Russian Empire, and then of the Soviet Union, before emerging as an independent state when Soviet rule ended in 1991.

Basmati rice: Time for cautious optimism?

India’s basmati rice exports are expected to reach a record high of Rs 30,000 crore in 2018-19, overcoming the previous peak of Rs 29,300 crore in 2013-14, according to a report by ICRA. Key factors driving the growth are strong demand from Iran, improvement in average realisations and consecutively increasing prices of paddy over the last three years.

Product Profile: Dried Fruit Powder

The global dried fruit powder market size is expected to reach US$ 23.96 billion by 2025 as a result of a positive outlook towards the nutraceutical industry. Consumers are continuously striving for the fulfilment of their nutritional intake through functional food and drinks.

Why India Hasn’t Signed a Single Trade Agreement in Last Five Years?

The proliferation of regional trade agreements has continued unabated since the early 1990s. In recent years, this has led to widespread debate on the advantages or disadvantages of regionalism over multilateralism. The debate stems from the increased use of regional trade agreements (RTAs)

US-India trade war? Look before you leap

India is planning to counter the US decision to withdraw GSP on its exports by imposing retaliatory tariffs from the coming month. If the Indian government goes ahead with retaliatory tariffs, twenty-nine items imported from the US, including

India’s sweeteners for the sugar industry unfair?

Guatemala has initiated a complaint against India at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Dispute Settlement Mechanism. In its complaint, the Central American nation has alleged that the sugar subsidies provided by India to its farmers are not in accordance with international trade regulations.

India-Africa – Partners in progress

During his address at the 14th CII-EXIM Bank Conclave on India-Africa Project Partnership, Commerce Minister Shri Suresh Prabhu proposed that India and Africa should consider finalizing a free trade agreement (FTA) or a preferential trade agreement (PTA). He stated, “We have a common future. We do not want to do anything at the expense of Africa. We want you to get into an FTA (with India) that will benefit Africa first.”

Capital goods sector – Engineering the next phase of growth

India’s engineering exports have grown impressively over the years, but the sector needs to move beyond low- and medium-technology products.

Egypt – hub for a 2-billion consumer market opportunity

India and Egypt share a long and incredible history of bilateral ties that date back to ancient times. The edicts of Emperor Ashoka allude to his empire’s connections with Egypt under the reign of Ptolemy-II. In the more recent past, this association is reflected in the close relations and shared visions of Mahatma Gandhi and Saad Zaghoul; as well as Gamal Abdel Nasser and Jawaharlal Nehru.

Indo-China trade: Is the balance tilting?

India’s huge trade deficit with China has been a persistent area of concern over the years. In 2017-18, the trade deficit had reached a record high of US$ 63 billion.

India’s exports to set new record in 2018-19

During his address to global CEOs and trading partners at the eighth International Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) Commerce Secretary Mr. Anup Wadhawan expressed confidence that India’s exports will reach a record high in 2018-19.

Egypt SEZs looking at Indian investment

An official delegation from Egypt, comprising of Government and privately owned SEZs in Egypt, is coming to India to seek investments from light and medium industries such as, but not limited to, automotive (auto parts, tyres and rubbers, automobile manufacturers), machinery (construction machinery & heavy trucks, agriculture & farm machinery, and industrial machinery), chemicals (industrial chemicals and household chemicals), packaging (paper packaging, metal and glass containers), food products (agriculture products, packaged foods and meats), building material (construction material) and electrical equipment (electronics & home appliances, and household products).

Product Profile – Yogurt

Worldwide sales for yogurt exports by country totalled US$2.4 billion in 2018. The overall value of yogurt exports increased by an average 3.8% for all exporting countries since 2013 when yogurt shipments were valued at $2.28 billion.

India to focus on developing Hydro Power Sector

India, a country blessed with natural resources and endowed with large hydro power potential of 1,45,320 MW of which only about 45,400 MW has been utilized so far, is poised to develop this huge potential further. The decision was taken recently at the Union Cabinet meeting that was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

India-Saudi Arabia JV in Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals given go-ahead

The Joint Venture between global majors such as Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) with Indian oil marketing companies – Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) for 50% stake each in Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals (RRPCL) has been given a go-ahead by Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi Government hours before the election dates were announced by the Election Commission of India.

Countering Trump’s stand on India’s protectionist outlook

While justifying the withdrawal of GSP rates, the US President Trump pronounced recently that India is an economy which applies high and complex protectionist measures. In this article, we are analysing technically the real picture of Indian tariff and non-tariff structure of some significant products and comparing it with major developed and developing economies.

India in Penultimate stage of Finalizing E-commerce Policy

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) circulated the draft e-commerce policy couple of weeks back in which it proposed regulating cross-border data flows, locating computing facilities within the country to ensure job creation and setting up a dedicated data authority for issues related to sharing of community data. It asserted that the data generated in the country is a national asset and citizens and the government have a sovereign right over it.

As Indian Chemical industry grows leaps and bounds, experts opine need for sustainable and judicious growth

At a time when the world is moving towards more environmental friendly use of resources, and even production-focused countries like China have come up with great reforms in their chemical industry, India is debating how its rapid growth can be converted into responsible growth. Henceforth, “Sustainable and Safe Use of Chemicals and Petro-Chemicals: Environment/Health Care/Safety” was the subject of discussion in the day-long seminar organized by The Week magazine in New Delhi.

Country Profile – Egypt

Egypt is the 62nd largest export economy in the world and the 72nd most complex economy according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2017, Egypt exported $30.1B and imported $64.1B, resulting in a negative trade balance of $34B. In 2017 the GDP of Egypt was $235B and its GDP per capita was $11.6k.

Country Profile – Belarus

Belarus is the 63rd largest export economy in the world and the 30th most complex economy, according to the Economic Complexity Index (ECI). In 2017, Belarus exported worth $28.5 bn and imported worth $33 bn, resulting in a negative trade balance of $4.42 bn.

Next step towards globalization of Bollywood

India’s entertainment sector has historically enjoyed a special appeal in CIS countries, especially Russia, as the Indian cinema once had good access to markets of the erstwhile Soviet Union.

Will Trump succumb to China in the tariff war?

A series of trade and geopolitical concerns continue to weigh on the markets in South East Asia, ranging from uncertainty around US-China trade to widening tensions between India and Pakistan.

Product Profile: Moringa Seeds

Moringa oleifera is indigenous to the sub-Himalayan regions of northern India and Pakistan. Moringa is the sole genus of the flowering plant Moringaceae and is indigenous to the Indian sub-continent.

WTO focusing to help least developed countries gain more from trade

The new 2019-2022 Strategic Plan introduced by Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) is designed to better position LDCs in the global economy at a time of growing concerns about trade.

Japan-EU inked the trade deal: Why India is waiting?

The EU and Japan are two highly developed economies that already have strong trade and investment links. In addition, Japan is an important strategic partner for the EU and a key ally in the Asia-Pacific region, standing already with second highest trade volume figures between the two.

Mega Food Parks to add value and reduce food wastage

With a view to grow agriculture sector exponentially, become a major contributor to doubling the farmer’s income and ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government a major success, the Government of India is working vigorously to boost the food processing industry. This is important so as to add value and reduce food wastage at each stage of the supply chain, which is a major source of concern.

Emerging markets leading global tourism growth

The world is fast becoming smaller and smaller with a rapid growth in global tourism. According to a UN World Tourism Organization report, international tourist arrivals increased by 6% in 2018, to 1.4 billion arrivals worldwide. Experts opine that there is a discernable trend visible in this rapid growth of world tourist arrivals. A sizeable portion of this growth has been driven by rising demand for travel destinations in emerging markets, with India and China leading the way.

Up close with MBS

Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi broke the protocol yet again to welcome Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS). The Crown Prince too, in a welcome gesture, decided not to make his trip to India as a continuation of his trip to Pakistan but returned back to Riyadh only to travel to India the next day. This was India’s diplomatic win vis-a-vis Saudi Crown Prince with India ensuring that it was not hyphenated with Pakistan.

Foxnuts – Global prospects and opportunities

Makhana (Foxnut), also known as Gorgon Nut, grows in India, Korea, Japan and Russia. It comes from the lotus seeds. Foxnut (Makhana) can be mixed with vegetables, popped like corn and made into yummy porridge.

Time to ensure long-term sustainable use of our marine resources

The terms “Blue Economy” or “Blue Growth” are increasingly being used in day-to-day parlance, as many governments, organizations and communities in both developed and developing countries are being aware of the need for a more coherent, integrated, fair , and science-based approach to managing the economic development of oceans.

New Era of Food Standards for International Agricultural Trade

The world's shrinking supply of arable land and water, the growing use of agricultural feed stocks for industrial purposes, and technological advancements will continue to play a vital role in the ability of agricultural and food production to meet the world's growing food needs.

Country Profile-Malaysia

Malaysia is located in Southeast Asia. Its territory is separated by the South China Sea into two similarly sized regions - Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia (Malaysian Borneo). It is part of the most successful regional grouping - ASEAN.

Burgeoning importance of Non-Tariff Barriers on Agricultural Trade

India has come a long way from being a food-deficit country at the time of Independence to a food surplus country. With its varied agro-climatic conditions and large production base for cereals, pulses, oilseeds, fruits, vegetables, dairy, poultry and meat products, the country has become a leading exporter of fresh and processed food products.

Strategic decisions likely during Saudi Crown Prince’s bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman would perhaps be finalizing his wardrobe to board the Royal Saudi plane to New Delhi by the time you read this. The Crown Prince is coming on a two-day state visit to India on February 19, but he will also visit Pakistan during his to and fro visit to India and three other countries. This will be the first state visit of Prince Salman to India, who is also the Vice President of the Council of Ministers and Defence Minister of Saudi Arabia. Interestingly, Crown Prince’s visit is being followed by his new-found friend Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel.

Export Controls in India: Book Review

With special expertise on export controls and trade remedies because of her flourishing practice at DGS Associates, where she is the co-founder, Ms. Ameeta Verma Duggal excels in representing clients before the Directorate General Trade Remedies and the Director General Foreign Trade. Who else could have been a better person to come up with a voluminous book on the export control laws of India, which continue to evolve consequent to India signing the multilateral export control regimes in the recent past?

Chabahar port to be a key pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific strategy

Coming closely on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the Islamic revolution, commemorated on a rain-soaked day in Tehran – Iran, India and Iran are set to observe the ‘Chabahar Day’ on February 26 at the strategic port located in Iran and administered by India.

Envisioning a new India

Vice President Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, Minister of Commerce & Industry Mr. Suresh Prabhu and Finance Minister Mr. Piyush Goyal are all talking in unison of a new India marching towards becoming a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025. Niti Aayog too has unveiled plans to make India a USD 5 trillion economy, but by 2030. In its much acclaimed “Strategy for New India at 75”, Niti Aayog has envisioned to accelerate growth to 8-9% and make the country a 5-trillion dollars economy by 2030. It hopes achieve this goal through focus on doubling of farmers’ income, boosting Make in India, upgrading the science, technology and innovation ecosystem, and promoting sunrise sectors like fintech and tourism.

US’s trade pressure on India unjustified

The United States, under President Trump’s regime, is mounting undue and unjustified pressure on India in its trade dealings through threats like withdrawal of trade benefits under the Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). This is despite India taking several measures to demonstrate its intent to address Trump’s trade concerns. Irony is clear! The US has the highest trade deficit with China, which had forced it to put tariff barriers on imports from China. In 2017, the US trade deficit with China was US$566 billion. US’s trade deficit with India is at US$22 billion only. Yet, while the US President Donald Trump speaks admirably of Chinese President Xi Jinping saying that he has ‘great respect’ for his Chinese counterpart, he taunts India and has even mocked Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi when listing India’s development aid in Afghanistan. This is despite India’s unflinching efforts towards narrowing the trade deficit.

IndusFood 2020 to be bigger, grander, says TPCI Chairman

IndusFood has evolved! And how? Now into its second year, it is already a much sought after B2B event for leading global buyers of F&B products. This is evident from the list of about 800 distinguished wholesale buyers, big sized food chains and several government-level delegations that will be converging at Greater Noida seeking F&B commodities and products showcased by more than 500 exhibitors covering 15 product zones. From here, the event is bound to develop further in the years to come, asserts a very confident TPCI head.

Positive feedback and letters of appreciation start rolling in post IndusFood

TPCI is inundated with letters of appreciation and feedback congratulating TPCI and its team on the handling of IndusFood. Several team members connected with various international buyers or Indian exhibitors have received letters and phone calls, congratulatory messages on their cellphones and promises of coming again for next year’s IndusFood, in 2020.

Technology to aid trade and commerce development

Dating back to ancient times, technology has played a crucial role in impacting factors of production. We have been witness to countless occasions in history when a slight technological advantage on opponents has enabled an army to inflict crushing defeat on its adversaries.

Ray of Hope for Indian Processed and Value-added Agricultural Exports

The union cabinet has approved the country's first Agriculture Export Policy with an aim to double farmers' income and agricultural export to $60 billion by 2022. One of the objectives of the policy include creating a stable trade policy regime through diversifying export basket and destinations and boosting high value and value-added agricultural exports with focus on perishables, so as to reach US$ 100 billion export target in the next few years.

Shuttering down America

President Trump has once again threatened that he is ready for another shutdown only a few days after 800,000 federal employees returned to work after a 35-day unpaid furlough.

Priority focus on GI products will help India reap good rewards

In a welcome move, which is sure to have long-term growth repercussions on the Geographical Indication products from India, Mr. Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce and Industries, Govt of India has announced that all the airports in the country will soon have ‘Geographical Indication Stores’ which will promote products unique to the region in which the airport is located.

Odisha striving to develop trade opportunities for its MSMEs through Trade Fairs

Odisha state government has recently been proactive in their attempt to develop trade opportunities for the businessmen through various means, including organizing trade fairs and participating in trade fairs.

Focus on developing business relations with India during South African President’s visit

South Africa has been in the thick of narratives in India at least from the time when Gandhi, as a young lawyer practicing in South Africa in the early years of 20th century, commenced a movement against apartheid in South Africa.

Revitalizing the SEZs

It was in April 2000 that the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) policy came into inception. Its prime objective was to enhance foreign investment and provide an internationally competitive and hassle free environment for exports. Subsequently, the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005 was passed by the Parliament and ratified by the President in mid 2005. On 10th February, 2006, the SEZ Act, 2005 came into effect, which was supported by SEZ rules.

Trans Fat kills: FSSAI to work reduce industrially produced trans fat

Trans fat kills! Globally, trans fat intake leads to more than 500,000 deaths of people from cardiovascular diseases every year. India too accounts for a large number of deaths due to trans fats. Keeping this in mind, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has taken up an initiative to reduce or eliminate industrially produced trans fat in the food supply.

India’s Commerce & Industry Minister Announced Launch of IndusFood

Terming IndusFood-II as a major event, the Commerce & Industry minister said during a pre-launch announcement made in a Press Conference related to the grand event that IndusFood would greatly help both farmers and exporters of F&B products.

“Indian F&B sector’s growth has matched the growth of the country’s economy”: Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal

Other than being the world’s fastest-growing major economy, India also has one of the fastest growing food processing industries in the world, Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Union Minister of Food Processing Industries has said.

Robust processing infrastructure can help India curb the problem of food wastage

Robust processing infrastructure can also help India curb the problem of food wastage. This was the view of Union Minister of Food Processing Industries Mrs. Harsimrat Kaur Badal who was addressing the press consequent to the inauguration of IndusFood at Greater Noida.

3 G2Gs, 1 G2B, 14 B2Bs, 1 Investor Meet, I Multilateral Dialogue and 10 MoUs speak of the grand success of IndusFood-II

IndusFood, the grand event that was signed off on the evening of January 15, 2019 was grand in every sense. Other than the 800 global buyers from 78 countries who conducted over 12500 B2Bs with about 500 Indian exhibitors, IndusFood was uniquely successful in several other ways.

“Events like IndusFood to help achieve $60 billion agricultural export target”: Sh. Santosh Sarangi

One of the major features and objectives of the Agriculture Export Policy is to double the agricultural export and position India as a major agricultural exporter in the world. By this policy, the Prime Minister has already done the groundwork for doubling farm income.

Country Profile: Israel

Israel is located in the Western Asia, close to Mediterranean Sea. It is a developed country with a very high HDI. The United Nations Development Programme ranks Israel 22nd in terms of Human Development Index with the value of 0.903. It is ranked 45th in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ by World Bank released in 2018.

Trade Capacity Building and Sanitary and Phytosanitary Control

Agricultural and food markets are far more globally integrated than they were a decade ago. But many developing countries find it difficult to compete in the international agricultural marketplace, and seek trade-related technical assistance, especially to help them understand and respond to both government- and consumer-driven requirements of foreign markets, including sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) measures.

Organic Food certification

With rising health consciousness and change in lifestyle organic food has emerged as the biggest revolution and food trend. In general organic food is certified through a certification process since organic farming differs from the conventional farming in terms of the whole agricultural process from ploughing to sowing.

Are Regional Trade Agreements Domestic Robustness?

The proliferation of regional trade agreements has continued unabated since the early 1990s. In recent years, this has led to widespread debate on the advantages or disadvantages of regionalism over multilateralism. The debate stems from the increased use of regional trade agreements (RTAs) in a world now ruled by an improved and disciplined multilateral trading system.

Product Profile: Spices

India, contemporarily known as the home of spices, has a long trading history with ancient and medieval civilizations of the world. Ancient trade routes connected India with Europe, Middle East and the rest of the world exists as a testimony to world’s preference for Indian spices since ancient times.

Value added F&B products: The shift that India needs the most

Draft Agri export policy 2018 aims to increase India’s export from US$ 30 billion to US$ 60 billion by 2022. It is a commendable initiative since now the country has shifted its focus towards agricultural exports rather than just production and domestic consumption.

Country Profile- Vietnam

Vietnam is located in easternmost part of South Asian Continent. It is a developing country and is a member to the most successful regional economic group-ASEAN.

Product Profile : Indian Ethnic Food

As per the Draft Agriculture export policy 2018 by Ministry of Commerce and Industry Indian ethnic foods export is valued at USD 114 million currently. It has been projected to grow at USD 200 million in the next three years. India’s domestic market for Indian ethnic ready to eat and ready to cook too is growing very rapidly. Finally Indians are gradually moving to ready to eat ethos.

Agriculture to boost India’s trade surplus?

India’s agricultural trade surplus recorded a more than ten-fold increase between 1991-92 and 2013-14. Three years later, the picture is vastly different. Between 2013-14 and 2016-17, agricultural exports fell by 22% while imports increased by 62%. As a result, the trade surplus has fallen by 70%.

Food Safety Standards for Export Of Indian Livestock Products

On an average per year, average value of livestock products constitutes 6 % of Indian agricultural export earnings and 1% of total export earnings. Influx of foreign goods to the Indian market has raised some concern about the country’s livestock sector and dairy industry in the regime of WTO.

Safeguard duty on steel: India appeals against WTO’s panel ruling

India has challenged the WTO dispute panel's ruling that the country's move to impose safeguard duty on some iron and steel products was inconsistent with certain global trade norms India notified the WTO's dispute settlement body of its decision to appeal to the Appellate Body on certain issues of law and legal interpretations in the panel report

Bilateral trade with Maldives presently low but immense opportunities exist

Bilateral trade between India and Maldives is not much at present, standing at a mere USD 222.68 million with a surplus in favour of India. This rather modest trade does not bespeak of the good India-Maldives relations that exist, characterized by close friendship, understanding and cooperation.

MSME to take sustainable development initiatives till grass root level: Development Commissioner Mr. Ram Mohan Mishra

The Ministry of Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSME) is poised to take its sustainable development initiatives till the grass root level, by empowering women even in remote villages through creating livelihood for them, tells Mr. Ram Mohan Mishra, Development Commissioner & Additional Secretary, MSME.

Analytical Study of India’s Agricultural Exports Policy 2018

India’s agri-export so far has been a story of untapped potential. India is second in global agricultural production, but its share of world agricultural exports is as low as 2%. Agricultural exports’ contribution to India’s GDP is also as low as 2%, lower than other developing agrarian country.

Is India’s widening trade deficit a reason for concern?

India’s trade deficit is rising! During the April-October period of the current fiscal, exports grew by 13.27% to $191 billion while imports jumped by 16.37% to $302.47 billion, leaving a trade deficit of $111.46 billion during the first seven months of the current fiscal. The deficit was $91.28 billion in April-October 2017-18. India’s Current Account Deficit (CAD) is seen at 2.8% of GDP this year against 1.9% last year.

Indian businessmen should go to Iraq and see the situation themselves: Mr. Khaldoon Tareq Yaseen, Commercial Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Iraq, New Delhi

Iraq is the biggest consumer market in the Gulf region. India had a burgeoning trade going on with Iraq till 2002. This trade got affected when political condition changed in Iraq. Afraid and having security concerns, the Indian businessmen shunned the Iraqi market. It is now that the Indian business delegations have started going to Iraq and started participating in trade shows there.

Product Profile: Sweet biscuits

The word biscuit is derived from an old French word ‘bescuit’ which means "twice-cooked”. This is because biscuits were originally cooked in a twofold process: first baked, and then dried out in a slow oven.

Immediate steps needed to rejuvenate trade with Iraq

Political uncertainty, fear and security concerns, coupled with lack of direct sea and bank route, kept away the Indian businesses from Iraq since 2002. With the bilateral trade touching $19 billion between 2017-18, there are huge opportunities for Indian companies in various sectors including commodities, infrastructure and crude oil.

Why global value chains matter?

One of the most important impediments for developing countries is trade costs. Non-tariff trade costs in today’s world like freight, insurance, and other cross-border related fees which tend to be much larger than any remaining import tariffs as products travel through the various stages of production.

WTO members predilected towards trade restrictive measures

Restrictive trade measures including tariffs and import duties rose sharply over the past one year. This could threaten global economic growth, trade and jobs, according to the World Trade Organization.

World’s 3rd largest convention centre coming up in Delhi

Delhi’s Dwarka region will soon have a massive Convention Centre, which is going to be Asia’s 2nd largest state-of-the-art Convention Centre and the 3rd largest in the world being designed with an objective to handle international conferences, exhibitions and trade shows so as to host summits of the level of G20 Summit and other such mega International events in the country.

Country Profile- Russia

Russia is located in both Asia and Europe, it is a transcontinental country. Its major part lies in Asia. It is the world’s largest country in terms of area.

Central Asian and East European markets to get closer to India by new trade route via Iran and Russia

In order to enhance trade and connectivity, India, Russia and Iran are now planning to launch a new cargo transport corridor, which would be a cheaper and shorter alternative to the Suez Canal or the China route and is expected to reduce transport costs by $2500 per 15 tons of cargo, besides reducing the travel time by nearly half.

‘Agriculture Export Policy, 2018’ to harness export potential of Indian agriculture

Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister for Commerce and Industry has come out with the first ever policy for agriculture exports which removes export restrictions for organic, agro processed products and gives special preference to high value, value added, perishable products.

Emerging opportunities for Indian businessmen as TPCI organizes a successful BSM in 4 cities in Iraq

Baghdad, Najaf, Karbala and Erbil were the 4 destination points for Trade Promotion Council of India (TPCI) to hold BSM meetings of Indian company representatives with prominent buyers from Iraq. The event, executed by the Indian Embassy in Iraq, was also a confidence building exercise for Indian exporters, many of whom quit doing business with Iraq when the country went into turmoil post 2002.

India Plans to Discuss Duty Cuts with China: Are we moving beyond RCEP?

India plans to have bilateral discussions with China on duty cuts under the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) trade agreement.

Shaping Agri Export Policy: What Cabinet Can Discuss?

The Union Cabinet is likely to take up agriculture export policy in the first week of December. The proposed agriculture export policy aims at doubling outbound shipments of farm products and increasing their share in the world market, The Commerce Ministry having already finalized the policy and forwarded it for the consideration by the Government.

Product Profile- Organic Food Products

APEDA, Ministry of Commerce and Industry defines Organic products as “the products grown under a system of agriculture, without the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with an environmentally and socially responsible approach”.

Country Profile- Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan is located in the Central Asia. It is the world’s largest landlocked country. The country is endowed with natural resources such as petroleum, gas, chromium, lead, zinc and uranium.

Reviving and revamping the Indian SEZs

India was one of the first Asian countries to recognize the effectiveness of the Export Processing Zone (EPZ) model in promoting exports, with Asia’s first EPZ set up in Kandla in 1965.

India-Viet Nam trade relations on surge

It was only in September 2018 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited Viet Nam. This has been followed by the visit of President Ram Nath Kovind to Viet Nam from November 18-20, 2018. The Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc was the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in January 2018 and only a few weeks later President Quang came on a visit to India.

Reforming WTO on the focus

Ministry of Commerce and Industry is in talks with the various countries associated with World Trade Organization (WTO) to work out the way forward for reforming the organization.

Global warming, if not contained, will threaten economic growth

Global temperatures are already up by about 1 degree Celcius (1.8 degree Fahrenheit) from pre-industrial level and are rising at a rate of 0.2 degree Celcius a decade.

FSSAI is leapfrogging towards creating a regulatory environment for the food sector in India: Pawan Kr. Agarwal, CEO FSSAI

A convoy of vehicles including several cyclists starts moving from Leh in the Northern corner of Jammu & Kashmir and traverses amidst snow-fall and occasional incidents of firing and stone-pelting to reach the capital Srinagar.

Doubling India’s economy to USD 5 trillion

Aim is high but we are already on the course! India that was ranked 142 among 190 nations on the World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking in 2014 has climbed to 77th rank this year. And there seems no stopping! Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now set an ambitious target of India breaking into top 50 countries in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business’ ranking and is aiming to nearly double the size of India’s economy to USD 5 trillion. According to him, this growth has been achieved because the policy paralysis has ended and his government was giving policy-based governance that has helped catapult the country from to the 77th position this year.

ASEAN countries to facilitate cross-border e-commerce transactions

Economic ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered into the grouping’s first ever agreement on e-commerce to facilitate cross-border e-commerce transactions within the region.

Developing trade with Iran amidst US sanctions

India has thousands of years of historic cultural and trade relations with Iran, several centuries before the Americas were discovered. Irony of economic circumstances necessitate India and the rest of the world to listen to the dictates of one country, whose President unilaterally decides to back out of an agreement his own predecessor had signed, after hectic parleys over the Iran nuclear deal.

The new Vietnamese Ambassador to India presents his credentials

Ambassador Pham Sanh Chau, the newly appointed Ambassador of Vietnam to India organized a lavish reception at the Embassy of Vietnam in New Delhi after presenting his credentials to the Hon’ble President of India. Several Indian dignitaries and prominent businessmen were present in the credential ceremony that was held in the evening. A 3-member TPCI delegation led by Suresh Kumar Makhijani, Jt. Director General at TPCI welcomed the Hon’ble Ambassador on his formal appointment.

Country Profile- Czech Republic

Czech Republic is located in the Central Europe and is a landlocked country and recognised as a manufacturing powerhouse. It is an export led economy.

Product Profile: Tea

Tea has been a very important part of the Indian culture. But there is no concrete documentation of the history of tea drinking in the Indian subcontinent for the pre-colonial period. It may have been mentioned in the ancient texts using a different referential name.

Is India a high tariff economy?

India is widely known as a country with high import tariffs. This view, however, may look fallacious. Changing this view is important for several reasons, both within India and outside.

Why USA has ameliorated Indian oil import scenario?

The Trump administration has granted exemptions to eight countries, including Japan, India and South Korea, to continue importing Iranian oil since they have made significant reductions in oil imports from Iran.

Will rice help bridge the widening trade deficit with China?

India has a huge trade deficit with China and this gap is rising with every successive year. In order to bridge this widening trade deficit, New Delhi has been pitching for market access for a variety of its goods to China, including non-basmati rice, sugar, rice and pharmaceuticals.

Dollar : Rise, Hegemony and Fall

India found a way of coming out of dollar payment and paying Iran in rupees for the oil it bought when sanctions were enforced on Iran prior to the signing of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, known commonly as the Iran nuclear deal or Iran deal, signed between Iran and the P5+1 countries in Vienna on July 14, 2015.

Hiking MSP for Rabi crops a step in the right direction

Several key persons connected with agriculture in India have been talking of ways and means to improve crop production of agricultural commodities like pulses and edible oils in which India remains heavily dependent on imports.

Making India more business friendly

India is on course to becoming more business friendly with each passing year, courtesy a series of reforms that have enabled India to climb up the ladder on the World Bank’s Doing Business Index for the second successive year.

Major shift towards construction and infrastructure development all across the GCC countries

Ever since oil first spurted from a well in Bahrain in 1931 and it was subsequently discovered throughout the Gulf, the focus in all the nations that are now called Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) remained on ways to extracting oil, refining it and transporting it.

The Czech government expressing interest to boost bilateral trade and investment in several areas: H.E. Mrs. Narinder Chauhan, India’s ambassador to The Czech Republic

H.E. Mrs. Narinder Chauhan is a seasoned and dynamic diplomat with more than three decades of active service in various key assignments, both in India and abroad. She is presently posted as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to The Czech Republic, in which capacity she recently played host to the visit of Hon’ble President of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind to The Czech Republic.

Preparing to meet global trade challenges

It was in early June this year that former Secretary of the Department of Commerce of the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Rita Teaotia, outlined the challenges facing global trade, including protectionism and threats to the World Trade Organization (WTO) system, when Asian countries of the Commonwealth gathered in New Delhi to deliberate on how to respond to major shifts in the global trade landscape.

Country profile- Germany

Germany is located in the Centre-Western Europe. It is one of the most populous countries in the European Union. The United Nations Development Programme ranks Germany, 5th in terms of Human Development Index with the value of 0.936.

Mandatory for exports of food products to the US to put new labels

If you are exporting food products to the US, you must know that it has been made mandatory by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put new labels on food products in the U.S. The changes have been made with an aim to keep the end consumer better informed about details of the food that she and her family eats so as to enable them to make healthier choices.

Product profile- Sesame seed

Sesame or sesamum indicum L. is commonly known as ‘Till’ in India. Sesame seed is one of the oldest oilseed crops known. It was domesticated over 3000 years ago. It was a major summer crop in the Middle East for thousands of years.

WTO norm and Indian practice on food security: An angle of dichotomy

The Agreement on Agriculture (AoA) was considered to be the starting point for liberalizing trade in agriculture. This framework consists of three main pillars i.e. market access, domestic support, export subsidies. Domestic support measures are basically categorized in three different general boxes, depending on their trade distortive potential.

Bilateral trade target of USD 15 billion will be met before 2020: Vietnamese minister Tran Thanh Nam

Bilateral ties between India and Vietnam have strengthened in recent years with a shared focus on regional security issues and trade. India and Vietnam have traditionally been good friends ever since Vietnam’s independence in the 70s.

India-Vietnam strategic partnership is the key to maintaining peace and stability not only in SE Asia but in the entire Indo-Pacific region: Pham Sanh Chau, Ambassador of Vietnam to India

Vietnam in recent years has seen high economic growth and expansion of trade and investment, which has resulted in the country moving out of the category of Least Developed Country (LDC) and become part of new lower middle income country (MIC).

Why PM’s visit to Japan is crucial: Exploring food value chains and agricultural trade

As global population is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, food needs would require a doubling of agricultural production. The need of the hour is to meet the rising demand, increase productivity, lower costs, use fewer resources such as energy, water and pesticides, and improve product quality and availability.

Improving trade with neighbours through land route, top priority for Ministry of Commerce & Industry

What is common between Marks & Spencer, VIP Industries, Reliance Retail, Raymond Apparel, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail and Puma Sports? All these companies are sourcing their requirements of apparel and related goods from neighbouring Bangladesh and transporting into India through Petrapole-Benapole (Bangladesh) border

Keep an eye on acrylamide levels in your Food and Beverage exports to Europe

If you are an Indian exporter of Food and Beverage products that need to be baked, fried, grilled, toasted or roasted and you are exporting to Europe, you must know that new regulations designed to reduce overall levels of acrylamide consumption have become applicable all over Europe.

Is it really possible to replicate sugar output success in pulses and oilseeds?

Data compiled by the Union Ministry of Agriculture showed India’s total cane and sugar output at 306 million tonnes for 2016-17. During the same year, however, industry sources estimate the total sugar production of 23.26 million tonnes.

Exporters of Indian rapeseed gainer in the wake of US-China tariff war

India is likely to be the gainer of US-China tariff war that continues unabated. Indian rapeseed exporters will soon be restarting rapeseed meal export to its neighbour China, who was India’s biggest buyer of rapeseed, a key ingredient in animal food, until it banned purchases in 2011-12.

Department of Commerce taking concrete steps to grow exports and provide jobs

The Minister for Commerce & Industry Mr. Suresh Prabhu recently said India is keen to grow exports and provide more jobs for the young, talented, well-educated and even semi-skilled and unskilled workforce of India.

Robust manufacturing base is a must for signing FTAs

India is negotiating seven free trade agreements (FTAs) with countries such as Russia, Australia and Peru that could help it deal with possible loss of share in traditional markets such as the US and the EU that are negotiating mega regional trade pacts.

Food Standards & Non-Tariff Barriers on Marine Exports

Food standards are standards imposed by countries to protect human, animal and plant health. They fall under the Sanitary and Phytosanitary Standards (SPS) Agreement of the WTO.

Concrete steps needed towards attaining sustained economic growth objective

One does not have to be an economic pundit to prophesy that India is set for an explosive growth. Great changes are taking place in the country which will have game-changing opportunities for the country’s economy and wide ranging implications for domestic businesses, multinational companies, and the government.

Product Profile- Cashew Nuts

The Cashew tree (Anacardiumoccidentale) is considered the native to the northern part of South America, but is now grown almost all over the world.

Will India be the engine of growth for the global economy in future?

India is well on track to sustain its position as one of the world’s fastest-growing economies. It will be an engine of growth for the global economy for the next few decades and it could play the role China did for the world economy during the last two decades.

Connecting through water, for regional cooperation

The much talked about Chabahar port, which opened a new strategic transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan that bypassed Pakistan and which is expected to cut transport costs significantly, is not the only such activity that India is pursuing. Large deliberations have been undertaken and focus is now on improving connectivity through water, for enhanced regional cooperation.

Improved connectivity to boost trade between India and Bangladesh: Jahangir Bin Alam, Secretary & CEO, IBCCI

Jahangir Bin Alam visited TPCI office to discuss further the avenues to boost bilateral trade between the two countries. Excerpts from the interview:

Country Profile- The Netherlands

Located in the North-Western Europe, The Netherlands is actually a kingdom which also consists of the Islands of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba. The United Nations Development Programme ranks Netherlands 10th in terms of Human Development Index. It is ranked 32nd in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ by World Bank with a 1st rank in trading across borders and 8th in resolving insolvency.

Frozen fish export from India continue to see astounding growth

Risks not being tackled in a leaderless world

When former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown said about a month back that risks were not being tackled now in a leaderless world and consequently the global economy was “sleepwalking into a future crisis”, many would have thought that he was talking of some distant future, which may or may not come to pass.

Maldives Election Results: What it means for India as new dawn emerges on Maldivian archipelago

Winds blowing from across the mighty Indian Ocean have brought a great change in the Maldivian archipelago. A new dawn has emerged in this tropical nation comprising of palm-fringed islands, merely 523 km southwest of India’s southern tip. The win of opposition candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in the Presidential election in the Maldives is being seen as a new era of democratic revival that could push the island country closer to India. The Presidential elections were to elect the Head of Government in Maldives but they have been so consequential and of such strategic importance that some analysts are already seeing it as India’s diplomatic win over China.

Plastic menace: Problem and its solution

Ironically, only two years ago, this award was given to a young lawyer from Mumbai – Afroz Shah – for the cleanliness work done by him and his team to transform the Versova beach, in other words, to remove largely plastic waste washed into the sea and accumulated near the coast.

Brexit: Will there be another referendum in Britain

Brexit was billed as a once-in-a-generation decision when Great Britain voted in 2016 on ‘Leave’ or ‘Not to Leave’ the European Union (EU). But with the Brexit talks with the EU hitting an impasse, France saying that it is preparing for a scenario where they would end up doing No Deal and the Labour Party leadership putting the option of another vote on the table, Brexit is heading for unclear future at the moment, at least for now, and various groups in Britain have already started talking of another referendum on whether to remain in EU or not.

Policy Incentivizing Sugar Exporters: What India can expect?

India’s cabinet recently approved incentives to boost cash-strapped mills to export sugar in the 2018-19 season as a part of farm support policy. This effort is germane to trim bulging domestic stockpiles which can be channelized to fetch dollars. According to this novel policy, cabinet will give transport subsidies of 1,000 rupees ($13.77) a tonne to 3,000 rupees a tonne to sugar mills, depending on their distance from ports. Also, the cabinet approbated the policy by uplifting the price that government directly pays to the cane growers to 138 rupees ($1.90) a tonne in the new season beginning October 2018.

Government steps in with measures to check widening current account deficit and capital outflows

Trade pundits in TPCI were since long speculating that it was time now for the Government to step in and take strong measures to curb non-essential imports, with the explicit purpose of checking the widening current account deficit (CAD) and capital outflows. This had become mandatory as the current account deficit had widened to 2.4 per cent of GDP in the April-June quarter.

European Union proposes to contemplate WTO towards pro-modernization

The multilateral trading system has so far provided a steady and effective framework for conducting business across the globe, helping many economies to propagate rapidly. Today, the WTO is indispensable for ensuring open, fair and rules-based trade. However, despite its success, the World Trade Organization has not been able to adapt sufficiently to the dynamism of the global economy. The world has changed, the WTO has not. It's appropriate time for WTO to act to frame the system, to address challenges of the today's global economy and work for everyone, again.

Country Profile- United Kingdom

The United Nations Development Programme ranks the UK 16th in terms of Human Development Index. This rank is above the likes of France and Belgium. They are also ranked 7th in ‘Ease of Doing Business’ by World Bank with a Distance to Frontier (DTF) of 82.22.

Product Profile- Leather Industry

Leather is one of the most widely traded commodities globally. The growth in demand for leather is driven by the fashion industry, especially footwear. Apart from this, furniture and interior design industries, as well as the automotive industry also demand leather. The leather industry has a place of prominence in the Indian economy due to substantial export earnings and growth. India’s leather industry has grown drastically, transforming from a mere raw material supplier to a value-added product exporter. The Indian leather industry accounts for around 12.9% of the world’s leather production of hides/skins.

New waterways to ease trade from North East Region

Indian government, in the last 4 years and under the leadership of our Prime Minister, has made its relations with East Asian neighbours a foreign policy.

Who will win the US-China trade war?

The ongoing trade war between the US and China shows no signs of abating. Instead, it has escalated to new heights in recent days with the US President announcing 10% tariffs yet again against $200 billion worth of Chinese goods with a threat of more tariffs on another $267 billion of US imports.

Will India board the RCEP train or not?

How India handles RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) is something that is being pondered and deliberated in the high corridors of power. Since RCEP is an extended Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with 10 ASEAN countries viz. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines

Product Profile: Tea Industry

The global tea market has witnessed a strong and steady growth in the tea production and tea consumption from around the world over the recent decades, while the top tea producing countries are still dominating the global market with their significant tea productions year on year.

‘Make or Buy’ Dilemma: India’s Solar PV Market Outlook

India’s Ministry of Commerce, through the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR), has recently enforced a safeguard duty (SGD) on solar cells and modules imported from China and Malaysia for the next two years. DGTR, created as an umbrella authority for trade matters under the Ministry of Commerce

Nipah virus threat followed by Kerala floods led to Pakistan gaining on export of fresh fruits and vegetables

As if the Nipah virus threat that led to several GCC countries banning import of fresh, chilled and frozen vegetables and fruits from Kerala was not enough, the recent floods in Kerala have further aggravated the situation, thus leading to Pakistan trying to gain on the void caused in the GCC market.

Falling rupee: Is the situation as bad as it was in 2013?

The Indian rupee, which hovered between 68 and 69 rupees during most part of this year so far has underwent a sudden decline, falling by nearly 10% in recent days to reach above 72 rupee mark to a dollar.

Country Profile- Turkey

Turkey's largely free-market economy is driven by its industry and, increasingly, service sectors, although its traditional agriculture sector still accounts for about 25% of employment. The automotive, petrochemical, and electronics industries have risen in importance and surpassed the traditional textiles and clothing sectors within Turkey's export mix.

Indian packaging companies to pack African milk, liquor and F&B products

The African continent has recently emerged as a high growth region for the packaging industry, with demand being driven by increased markets for consumer products, burgeoning individual incomes, an expanding population of youthful consumers and growing domestic economies, particularly in East and West Africa.

Third Era of Trade: Global Value Chains

Global value chains have transformed the world by revolutionizing development options facing poor nations. Now it is possible for these nations to join value chains rather than having to invest decades in building their own. The offshoring of labor-intensive manufacturing stages and the attendant international mobility of technology launched era-defining growth in emerging markets, they have brought a welcome change that fosters and is fostered by domestic policy reform.

India and Turkey share strong commercial and economic relations: Sanjay Bhattacharyya, India’s Ambassador to Ankara, Turkey

India is the partner country in the prestigious 87th Izmir International Trade Show to be held in Izmir - the third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara – from 7th to 11th September, 2018. India is the Partner Country in the trade show, in which TPCI, along with the Ministry of Commerce, will be putting up an India Pavilion, which will host a very strong presence of 75 Indian companies.

The TPCI delegation will have great chance to promote Indian products in Turkey: Atilla Bastirmaci, Ministry of Trade, Turkey

The prestigious 87th Izmir International Trade Show will be held from 7-11 September, 2018 in Turkey. India is the Focus Country and the Indian Pavilion, aptly called Souce India, will have a strong presence of 75 Indian businessmen from various fields who are going to participate in this event along with TPCI.

Canada mulls over NAFTA talks

It is now Canada which is mulling over trade talks with the USA after a decision was taken to overhaul the existing trade pact by Mexico and the USA. Canada rejoined face-to-face negotiations with the United States and Mexico after the two continental partners reached a deal that has raised fresh concerns about the fate of the North American Free Trade Agreement.


Canada’s economic competitiveness has been sustained by strong rule of law and the solid institutional foundations of an open-market system. Canada boasts of an economic freedom score of 77.7, making the economy the 9th freest in the 2018 index. The country also has an ‘Ease of Doing Business Rank’ of 18 among 190 countries.


Ceramics is a diverse industry and contains several categories of products, including sanitary ware, refractories, cement, advanced ceramics and ceramic tiles.

Is Indian trade turmoil bothering macro prospects?

While the Indian rupee has been under momentous stress since last couple of months, it may portray a bothering situation for policymakers and economists. But is this worry perennial, from Indian macroeconomic perspective? A global environment of monetary policy tightening, escalated oil prices and mounting trade tensions have triggered the scenario of capital flight from emerging markets and supported US dollar strength. Malign concerns from the recent Turkey’s economic turmoil have miffed most emerging-market currencies, not just the rupee.

Doing Business with Mexico

It was normally felt that Mexico is too far a country to do business with. Not anymore! Bilateral trade between India and Mexico are continuously on the rise with India-Mexico bilateral trade growing to US$8.37 billion in CY 2017, an unprecedented 33% increase against 2016.

Investment opportunities for Indian firms and more jobs for Indian professionals opening up in Saudi Arabia

Good investment opportunities for Indian firms as well as more jobs for Indian professionals are likely to open up in Saudi Arabia in light of the gulf country’s increased public expenditure outlay in the infrastructure sector, particularly the US$500 billion futuristic mega city Project “NEOM” and the Red Sea Tourism Project. Immense scope and opportunities for Indian firms exist in the infrastructure sector and it remains to be seen how much business they bring to India.

Increasing import duty on textile and other products likely to boost Indian industry

With an aim to further incentivize the domestic textile industry, Indian government has increased the import duty on textile products for the second time in a month, doubling customs duty on 328 tariff lines of textile products from 10 per cent currently to 20 per cent. It is expected that this higher duty will help the Indian textile industry, which employs nearly 10.5 crore people and has been facing stiff competition from cheaper imports, particularly from China.

Is India’s first move of protectionist measure remunerative?

India doubled the import tax on more than 300 textile products to 20% in early August as the world’s biggest producer of cotton tries to curb rising imports from China. It was the second tax hike on textiles in as many months after an increase on other products including fibre and apparels which was surged in July. The moves are anticipated to provide relief to the domestic textile industry, which has been hit by cheaper imports.

Product Profile- Indian Dye and Dye Stuffs Industry

The dye & dyestuff industry plays an important role in the overall growth of the chemical industry. Major portion of dyes are used in the textile industry and textile, carpet and garment industry are one of the largest and most prominent sectors. Growth of the textile industry has a direct impact on the growth of dyes stuff industry.

Country Profile- Mexico

Mexico is a country located between the USA and Central America. It is the 10th most populated country in the world and is home to over 130 mn people. Mexico has an Economic Freedom score of 64.8, putting the country in the ‘moderately free’ category with a rank of 63rd for 2018. World Bank has also given the country a Doing Business rank of 49th, with a Distance to Frontier of 72.27. Moreover, they have high scores for Getting Credit, Resolving Insolvency, and Enforcing Contracts. In 2017, Mexico reported a GDP of $1,149bn, and a growth of 1.1% from 2016-17.

Product Profile- Basmati Rice

Basmati rice has been enjoying a premium position in the global marketplace, which has reflected greatly on the growth of the market for basmati rice across the world. Basmati rice, grown for many centuries in the Indian subcontinent, is known globally for its fragrance and its flavour.

Country Profile- United States of America

The United States of America is the world’s foremost economic power, with global interests and an unmatched global reach. Its GDP was over $19.39 trillion in 2017 and accounted for close to a quarter of the world total.

Potential impact on Indian agricultural exports: USA-China trade dispute perspective

The United States and China, the world’s largest economic powers, have combated in an accelerating trade dispute since first quarters of 2018. This ever-changing story lingers to evolve, with auxiliary tariffs pronounced by the United States in late May 2018. Agricultural trade has gained attention due to this ongoing trade dispute. This trade acrimony between China and the United States may facilitate Indian agricultural exports as China has been the United States’ top agricultural export market outside of North America since 2009 with an annual sale of nearly $20 billion in 2017.

India-Russia to hold their first ever strategic dialogue in July in St Petersburg

The first ever Indo-Russian Strategic Economic Dialogue will be held in St Petersburg this July to strengthen the economic partnership between the two nations. The strategic dialogue was planned by Indian PM and the President of the Russian Federation in their informal summit.

China removes import tariffs on pharmaceutical products: India-China trade scenario

China has exempted import tariffs for 28 drugs, including all cancer drugs, from 1st May 2018. The move is expected to boost Indian exports of pharmaceuticals to the neighboring country as well as help reduce trade imbalance between China and India in the future.

India’s foreign trade account for April 2018

The foreign trade scenario of April 2018 in India has largely been witnessing a positive growth as compared to April 2017, with both exports and Imports experiencing visible increase. Talking in terms of exports which includes re-exports of merchandise goods, a significant positive growth of 5.17% has been witnessed. The exports in April 2018 increased to US $25.91 billion compared to US $24.64 billion in April 2017.

Exports dominated in November: Buttressed by unraveled GST and spurred Global Demand

After a brief sluggishness during in previous months, exports rose 30.55% to $26.19 billion in November on account of improved global demand, government incentives and simplification of GST payment mechanism.

Agricultural Trade Negotiations 2017 – Make or Break for India

Waning quantum of Indian agricultural exports in past couple of years is enervating the India’s position as a net food exporter. With tad value addition in agricultural exports, Indian manufacturers are unable to compete with the agro- processing industries of developed countries like Australia, Canada and economies of EU.

Foreign Trade Policy – Mid Term Review : Must for waning Fiscal Burden

The much-awaited review of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) was announced earlier this month by the Commerce Minister extending support to exporters, especially those from leather- intensive sectors, to help deal with implementation burden of the new Goods & Services Tax (GST) regime.

Why 11th Ministerial Meeting of WTO is important for Global Agricultural Trade?

Argentina is scheduled to host the Eleventh Ministerial Conference of the WTO from 10th to 13th December 2017 in Buenos Aires. Ministerial Conference is the decision-making body of the WTO that takes important trade liberalization decisions.

Slowing productivity growth in developed countries

Improved momentum in the Chinese economy in the first half of this year due to rising domestic demand has reassured the global growth

Is Green Corridor a new trade instrument for the coming years?

With trade between Russia and India far below its potential, the two countries are contemplating creating a ‘green corridor’ for the smooth transit of goods. But what is the idea behind this green corridor?

Empowering Steady Synergies – India Korea Financial Dialogue 2017

The world is witnessing a new surge of protectionism, especially from the developed world. It is a period of transforming international relations for the developing ones. With a similar motive, the 5th Korea-India Financial Dialogue, a four day long meet was held on June 17, 2017, in Seoul, South Korea.

Soaring Current Account Deficit of India

According to the data issued by the Reserve Bank of India, the current account deficit (CAD) of the country narrowed to 0.7 per cent of GDP for the financial year 2016-17 from 1.1 per cent in 2015-16 mainly due to contraction in the trade deficit.

Trilateral to Multilateral: A scope of expanding markets

Changing geopolitical dimensions in world economy and the attention centered on India’s growth are strong reasons for India to extend its strengths within and around its frontiers. One of the sources to bestow the required strength is ‘Trade’

Box Shifting in developed nations and the need for Special Safeguard Measures

India will be pushing for finalising the work programme for a transparent Special Safeguard Measures (SSM) in the WTO Summit to be held in Argentina this December. SSM allows developing countries to raise import duties on agricultural products in response to import surges.

Integrating neighbouring economies to expand trade

The easiest market access for most finished goods is in nearby countries; but history, political rivalry, colonial rules and a host of other reasons might have left this natural advantage unexploited. This needs to be nurtured with transport infrastructure and appropriate policies.

Significance of Regional Economic Integration in Africa- Possibilities for India

Historically, reasons for emergence of regional integration arrangements in Africa were political exigencies and economic needs. It is often argued that India should look at Africa not as an aggregation of individual economies, but of regional blocs.

India’s Thriving Pharmaceutical Industry

India’s pharmaceutical industry is currently brimming with activities. The recent drug and plant approvals received by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has made Cadila Healthcare (Zydus Cadila) the most valuable pharmaceutical company by market capitalisation after Lupin.

India’s membership in Shanghai Cooperation Organisation

Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is an intergovernmental organization founded in Shanghai on 15 June 2001 by six countries, People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.

India’s growing demand for Solar Panels- Import Substitution or Optimality?

Indian Solar Manufacturer’s Association (ISMA) has appealed in June 2017 for the third time in five years, to the Directorate General of Anti-Dumping (DGAD), to impose anti-dumping duty on solar panels. This time the application is against China, Malaysia and Taiwan.

JAPAN-EU Economic Partnership Agreement- A potential for India to expand its trade?

Japan and the European Union recently announced their agreement on an economic partnership that would form a free-trade zone between the partners as early as 2019. The agreement between the 2nd (EU) and 4th (Japan) ranked countries in terms of nominal GDP is called..

Rethinking India’s Agricultural Distress

One often misses the paradigm shifts and structural changes happening in agriculture while analyzing its problems. Some issues are ever changing, while some persist. Here, we focus on one such unrelieved stumbling block faced by farmers. Lately, low farm incomes are being..

Implications of GST on textiles sector

Textiles is one of the most important industries for India in terms of its share in GDP, employment and exports. The industry contributes 2 per cent of GDP, 10 per cent to manufacturing output and 13 per cent of India’s export earnings. On the employment front, it provides 50 million jobs directly, and approximately 60 million indirectly. India’s contribution to total world exports is 5.12 per cent . There is indeed huge scope for an improvement.

South China sea dispute- Looming threat for India

The South China Sea is an important economic and strategic region of Indo- Pacific. It is bordered by Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. It is a critical commercial gateway for significant portion of world’s merchant shipping.

Implications of GST- Gems and Jewellery sector

Gems and Jewellery sector is one of the fastest growing, export oriented and labour intensive sectors. Its contribution to Indian economy is quite significant. 6 to 7 % of GDP comes from this sector. Its contribution to foreign exchange earning stood at UDS 38.59 billion in 2016.

Amazon buys Whole Foods: Unfolding of Opportunities for India

There seems to be no stopping for Amazon. To boost their grocery delivery ambitions, it has acquired Whole Foods for a banging $13.7 billion. Whole Foods is American supermarket chain which is famous for natural and organic foods and is also the first National Certified Organic grocer in the US.

G20 Summit- What should be India’s agenda?

Twelfth G-20 Summit will be held on 7th and 8th July, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. It’s a premier forum for economic cooperation and to discuss the challenges faced by its member countries. There are many pressing issues which the member countries including India would want to address at the Summit. But it is important to prioritize the issues.

India’s Outlook on the Pursuit of E-commerce.

E-commerce has been a focal area for WTO this year, as was witnessed during WTO Director General Roberto Azevêdo’s visit to India in February, 2017. Also, many developed countries are wanting to take up this issue in the WTO’s eleventh ministerial meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina in December 2017. In addition, the Aid-for-Trade initiative which was launched at the 2005 Hong Kong WTO Ministerial Conference, and aims to support ..

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