International Trade Current Affairs - 2019

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India International Trade Fair Begins

The 39th India International Trade Fair is to begin in New Delhi on November 14, 2019. Around 25,000 people are expected to visit the fair.

Theme: “Ease of Doing Business”

The theme is inspired from India’s 63rd rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business.

Highlights

  • The Fair is to serve as a convergence point for the government agencies, non-government institutions and private sector enterprises
  • Countries including Vietnam, UK, Turkey, Tunisia, Thailand, Nepal, Myanmar, Iran, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Egypt, China, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Australia and Bahrain are to participate in the fair
  • The preferences are given to Bihar and Jharkhand states this year
  • The fair is to offer equal opportunities to large corporations, MSME, artisans and self-help groups to promote their products

Significance

  • With India growing as a hotspot of startups, giving equal opportunities to them in these fairs will boost their growth and eventually will boost the growth of the economy. Such steps by the government shows the importance given to the startups in its governing actions. These steps fetch an increased growth rate predictions for the country in 2020-21 by organizations like IMF, World Bank, G20 though they pin down the current growth rate of the country
  • With increased importance to artisans and MSME along with large corporates will help boost GoI recent schemes aiming on increasing exports and reducing imports especially in the field of handicrafts.

India to conduct 1st National Time Release Study for faster movement of Cargo

Department of Revenue, under Union Ministry of Finance, is conducting India’s 1st National Time Release Study (TRS) for enabling faster movement of cargo across borders to benefit traders. TRS is an internationally recognized tool advocated by Brussels based World Customs Organization (WCO) to measure efficiency and effectiveness of international trade flows.

National Time Release Study

It is an initiative for accountable governance that will measure rule based and procedural bottlenecks including physical touchpoints in clearance of goods, from time of arrival until physical release of cargo.  It is part of India’s strategic commitment to improve global trade will be conducted between 1- 7 August 2019. However, from now onwards exercise will be institutionalized on an annual basis, during same period every year.

Objective: To identify and address bottlenecks in trade flow process. To take corresponding policy and operational measures required to improve effectiveness and efficiency of border procedures, without compromising efficient trade control.

Expected Beneficiaries: will be export oriented industries and MSMEs (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) who will enjoy greater standardization of Indian processes with comparable international standards.

Process Followed:

Earlier individual customs formations had been independently conducting TRS studies at port level. However National TRS have evolved a uniform, multi-dimensional methodology which measures regulatory and logistics aspects of cargo clearance process and establishes average release time for goods.

National TRS will have standardized operations and procedures across all ports and will also establish baseline performance measurement. Exercise will be conducted at same time across 15 ports including sea, air, land and dry ports which together accounts for 81% of total Bills of Entries for import and 67% of Shipping Bills for export filed within India.

Based on results of TRS, government agencies associated with cross border trade will be able to diagnose existing and potential bottlenecks which act as barriers to free flow of trade and thus enabling them to take remedial actions for reducing cargo release time. The initiative is on ground lead by Central Board of Indirect Tax and Customs (CBIC).

Benefits:

This initiative will help India maintain upward trajectory on Ease of Doing Business (EDB), particularly on Trading Across Borders indicator which measures efficiency of cross border trade ecosystem (i.e. time and cost associated with logistical process of exporting and importing goods every year). In 2018 India’s ranking on indicator improved from 146 to 80.