Union Commerce Minister, Piyush Goyal said that MSME exporters should take advantage under FTA to increase exports. The government of India is taking several steps to increasing MSME’s contribution to exports. To achieve the target of 60% contribution in exports, MSMEs should target countries under FTA.
Currently, MSMEs have a 49% share in exports of the country. India signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) for goods belonging to various categories including clothing, food and automobile industry components. MSMEs produce majority of goods under these categories. The trading partners under FTA include Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries.
Piyush Goyal‘s View
Concerning the global competitiveness, Goyal said that China is losing its competitive edge. This can benefit India greatly in the manufacturing sector. Citing the 50% increase in foreign direct investments in 2018, he said that he has spoken to many international companies’ representatives to encourage investments in the country. He also mentioned that Ravi Shankar Prasad, Communications, Electronics, and Information Technology Minister, interacted with several companies across the world to set up manufacturing plants in India. The government also launched Interest Equalization Scheme in 2015 to provide a rebate on pre and post-shipment export credit. Under the scheme, the rate was increased from 3% to 5% for MSME.
Piyush Goyal also bought up the increasing trend of protectionism through non-tariff barriers in developing countries in a meeting with BRICS trade ministers. He stated that the developed countries increase trade barriers by NTB’s despite supporting free trade. Piyush Goyal further added that these actions create economic uncertainties and make the procedure of trade even more difficult in developing countries.
The government introduced several measures to uplift the MSMEs. Citing their contribution to export, employment, and overall development, the government introduced Foreign Trade Policy in 2015 that focused on export promotion schemes for MSMEs. It also encouraged small industries to increase exposure to FTA through training and participating in international exhibitions. In conclusion, the problems of MSMEs are endless and need detailed policies for improvement.