Imports Current Affairs - 2019
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India’s export to China is expected to reach an all-time high in the financial year 2018-19.
Increase in Exports
The increase in the exports to China is attributed to US-China trade spat creating new opportunities for exporters and Beijing removing some trade barriers in its effort to check the growing bilateral trade imbalance.
The growth of exports was driven by the following sectors which include marine products, organic chemicals, plastics, petroleum products, grapes and rice.
Bridging the Trade Deficit
Indian exports are expected to reach an all-time high in the current financial year. The exports between April and December stood at $12.7 billion which is closer to last year’s exports of $13.33 billion.
India feels that more efforts are required for greater market penetration in China to bridge the trade deficit. India’s trade deficit with China stood at $63 billion in 2017-18. This $63 billion trade deficit was more than a third of India’s total trade deficit. The exports to China stood at $13.3 billion and imports from China stood at $76.38 billion in 2017-18.
Acknowledging the need to take steps to check the deficit, the following steps have been initiated to bridge the deficit:
- China signed three export protocols with India on rice, fishmeal and tobacco to allow imports of the three items.
- An announcement regarding Chinese import quotas for sugar and rice for 2019 is expected soon which would aid in planning their exports well in time.
- India is also expecting to sign a protocol for export of Indian soyabean meals, cakes and pomegranates to China in the near future.
To make the most of the US-China trade dispute, the Department of Commerce had taken the initiative to identify and share with Indian exporters and other stakeholders, specific lines where the US will lose competitiveness in China and where India had an export potential.
Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry is developing National Logistics Portal is to ensure ease of trading in international and domestic markets. The portal will link all stakeholders of EXIM (export and import), domestic trade and movement and all trade activities on single platform.
National Logistics Portal
It will be implemented in phases and will fulfil Central Government’s commitment to enhance trade competitiveness, create jobs, boost India’s performance in global rankings and pave way for India to become logistics hub. Stakeholders like traders, manufacturers, logistics service providers, infrastructure providers, financial services, Government departments and groups and associations will all be on one platform.
In 2018-19 budget speech, Union Finance Minister had announced that Department of Commerce will create portal which will be single window online market place for trade and will connect business, create opportunities and bring together various ministries, departments and private sector.
India’s logistics sector is highly defragmented and very complex with more than 20 government agencies, 40 partnering government agencies (PGAs), 37 export promotion councils, 500 certifications, 10000 commodities being stakeholders in it. At present it has 160 billion market size and involves 12 million employment base, 200 shipping agencies, 36 logistic services, 50 IT ecosystems and banks and insurance agencies. Government is aiming is to reduce logistics cost from present 14% of GDP to less than 10% by 2022. As per Economic Survey 2017-18, Indian logistics sector provides livelihood to more than 22 million people. Improving this sector will facilitate 10% decrease in indirect logistics cost leading to growth of 5 to 8% in exports. Further, it estimates that worth of Indian logistics market will be around US $215 billion in next two years compared to about US $160 billion currently.