As Commerce & Industry Minister Piyush Goyal unveils the much awaited new Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2023-28 today amidst India’s overall exports that includes services and merchandise shipments crossing USD 750 billion, there is an unprecedented degree of expectation over the government’s intent to boost exports amid slowing global trade and headwinds. The term of the previous five year policy (2015-20) had ended in March 2020. However, it has been extended repeatedly in wake of Covid outbreak and resulting lock-downs. The last extension was given in September 2022 till 31 March, 2023. The Department of Commerce has the mandate to make India a major player in global trade and assume a role of leadership in international trade organizations commensurate with India’s growing importance. India’s FTP provides the basic framework of policy and strategy for promoting exports and trade. It is periodically reviewed to adapt to the changing domestic and international scenario.
The FTP is expected to outline the vision statement for taking India’s goods and services exports to USD 2 trillion by 2030. The FTP (2015-20) has focused on improving India’s market share in existing markets and products as well as exploring new products and new markets. The Policy also aims to help exporters leverage benefits of GST, closely monitors export performances, improves ease of trading across borders, increases realization from India’s agriculture-based exports and promotes exports from MSMEs and labour intensive sectors.
Now, the new policy is likely to be aligned with the government’s forward thrust on promoting exports of high value-added products, where India has a strong domestic manufacturing base, including engineering goods, electronics, drugs and pharmaceuticals, textiles and agriculture. Around 70% of India’s exports constitute products that have just 30% share in global trade. The government is looking at some more promising product groups like defense equipment, medical devices, agro-processing tools, technical textiles and chemicals.