Trade Current Affairs

Government sets up task force on ways to reduce import

The Union Government constituted a high-level task force under Chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha to identify various items and policy interventions to reduce dependence on imports. It will suggest ways to cut import of those items which can be manufactured or explored in the country. The task force includes secretaries from Departments of Commerce, Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), Revenue, Skill Development, Defence Production, Petroleum, Steel, Electronics and Telecommunications.

Background

The move holds significance as India is heavily dependent on imports of several items such as oil, machinery, electronic hardware, pharmaceuticals ingredients including (active pharmaceuticals ingredients), gold and chemicals. On an average, India’s imports stand at around US $450 billion per year. In financial year 2017-18, the inbound shipments grew about 20% to US $460 billion.

India’s oil imports during same fiscal had risen by 25.47% to US $109.11 billion. Though increase in imports of intermediates and raw materials reflects boost in economic activities, but the inbound shipments of final goods impact domestic manufacturers. Earlier, concerns were raised over high dependence on pharmaceutical ingredients from China by trade experts.

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Gujarat signs MoU with Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency to strengthen trade, industrial relations

Gujarat Government’s Industries and Mines Department has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) to strengthen trade, industrial relations. KOTRA is national trade and investment promotion organisation operated by South Korea Government.

Key Facts

The MoU was signed with aim to recognize mutual desire to further enhance and strengthen India (Gujarat) and South Korea trade and industrial investment relations and encourage ongoing dialogue and cooperation. Under this MoU, both Industries Department of Gujarat and KOTRA will assist each other to provide in-market support.

The priority sectors in focus under this MoU are chemical, petrochemical and pharmaceuticals; new and renewable energy; start-up ecosystem; textiles and apparels; urban infrastructure; Food Processing and Agro related industries; Skill Training and Development; Automobile, etc.

Background

Gujarat is a leading destination for foreign investment and bilateral trade. It is a key contributor to India-South Korea economic relationship. Gujarat’s export to South Korea was around $1 Billion in 2017-18, which is approximately 25% of India’s total export to South Korea. In recent past, South Korean companies in the field of manufacturing, textiles and chemicals have also expressed interest in investing in Gujarat.

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