Year Ender 2021: From setting $400-bn exports target to Dubai Expo; Commerce Ministry's highlights – Business Today

India’s Ministry of Commerce & Industry department has outshone in terms of major achievements for this fiscal; especially in terms of a significant increase in annual merchandise exports, finalising trade negotiations with UAE, drawing attention at World Expo 2020 in Dubai, and much more.
Despite witnessing the second year of COVID-induced hit to economy, the commerce ministry achieved a number of targets in 2021. Here are a few big highlights:
– Export target of $400 billion for merchandise in FY22
With an eye on $400 billion annual exports milestone by end of this fiscal, India’s merchandise exports have reached 65.89 per cent of the target till November 2021. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had addressed ambassadors, high commissioners, commercial missions, and others on 6 August 2021 on “Local Goes Global – Make in India for the World” for achieving the target.
-Export Performance
India’s exports have been performing extremely well in last 8 months with exports exceeding $30 billion for the 8th consecutive month in the current financial year, according to government statistics.
The cumulative value of exports during April-November 2021 has been estimated at $263.57 billion compared to $174.16 billion during April-November 2020, which is a positive growth of 51.34 per cent. As compared to April-November 2019, exports in April-November 2021 exhibited a positive growth of 24.82 per cent.
India’s services exports remained relatively resilient to the pandemic which impacted world trade in commercial services in 2020. India’s share in world commercial services exports has increased from 3.5 per cent in 2019 to 4.1 per cent in 2020, leading to improvement of India’s rank in leading exporters of commercial services from 8th to 7th in 2020.
-India Pavilion at World Expo 2020 in Dubai
World Expo 2020 is being held in Dubai from 1 October, 2021 to 31 March, 2022. This is the first expo which is being held in MEASA (Middle East, Africa and South Asia) region. The India Pavilion at World Expo in Dubai was inaugurated on October 1, 2021 where it turned out to be a huge draw, registering another landmark by receiving more than six lakh visitors in just 83 days of its opening.
World Expo, Dubai is expected to herald the revival of global economy post the COVID-19 pandemic with participation of more than 190 countries and 25 million expected visitors.
-Ease of Doing Business
In order to provide policy stability during the pandemic period, Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2015-20 was extended for the year 2021-22 i.e. up to 31 March 2022. Further, exemption from Integrated Goods & Service Tax (IGST) and Compensation Cess under Advance Authorizations (AA)/ EPCG, EOU scheme was also extended up to 31 March 2022.
-India and Mauritius sign first trade agreement
India and Mauritius signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation and Partnership Agreement (CECPA) on 22 February 2021 which entered into force on 1 April 2021.The CECPA is the first trade Agreement signed by India with a country in Africa.
“The India-Mauritius CECPA provides for an institutional mechanism to encourage and improve trade between the two countries. The CECPA between India and Mauritius covers 310 export items for India. As regards trade in services, Indian service providers will have access to around 115 sub-sectors from the 11 broad service sectors,” the ministry stated.
-India-UAE trade negotiations
India-UAE CEPA negotiations were launched on 22 September 2021 during the visit of UAE delegation. Two rounds of negotiations have been held so far and both sides are aiming to conclude the negotiations by December 2021 and signing of the Agreement by March 2022.
This new strategic economic agreement is expected to increase bilateral trade in goods to $100 billion within five years of the signed agreement and increase trade in services to $15 billion.
-India-Australia trade negotiations
India-Australia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) negotiations are at an advanced stage. Both countries are expected to complete negotiations for the Interim Agreement soon. Final agreement is expected to be completed by end of 2022. The key negotiating subjects are Trade in Goods, Services, Investment, Rules of Origin, Customs Facilitation, Legal and Institutional issues etc.
-BRICS Trade Fair 2021
BRICS Trade Fair, an initiative of the Department of Commerce, was held virtually under India’s Chairmanship from 16 to 18 August, 2021. The event witnessed the participation of over 5000 delegates, and the event had over 2500 pre-fixed B2B meetings.
-Government e-Marketplace (GeM):
A total 31.8 lakh vendors have been onboarded on Government e-Marketplace (GeM), out of which 7.39 Lakh are MSMEs, which constitute about 23 per cent of the vendor base and contribute over 57 per cent of the cumulative Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) on GeM.
“GeM has drastically brought down waiting time and prices for buyers and ensured timely payments to the sellers. It has enabled various modes of procurement as prescribed in GFR and has made available various analytical tools to facilitate buyers to make an informed decision while making procurement,” the government said in a statement.
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