For India to become a major player in world trade, an all encompassing, comprehensive view needs to be taken for the overall development of the country’s foreign trade. While increase in exports is of vital importance, we have also to facilitate those imports which are required to stimulate our economy. Coherence and consistency among trade and other economic policies is important for maximizing the contribution of such policies to development. Thus, while incorporating the existing practice of enunciating an annual Exim Policy, it is necessary to go much beyond and take an integrated approach to the developmental requirements of India’s foreign trade. This is the context of the new Foreign Trade Policy.
Trade is not an end in itself, but a means to economic growth and national development. The primary purpose is not the mere earning of foreign exchange, but the stimulation of greater economic activity. The Foreign Trade Policy is rooted in this belief and built around two major objectives. These are:
(ii) To act as an effective instrument of economic growth by giving a thrust to employment generation.
These objectives are proposed to be achieved by adopting, among others, the following strategies:
The new Policy envisages merchant exporters and manufacturer exporters, business and industry as partners of Government in the achievement of its stated objectives and goals. Prolonged and unnecessary litigation vitiates the premise of partnership. In order to obviate the need for litigation and nurture a constructive and conducive atmosphere, a suitable Grievance Redressal Mechanism will be established which, it is hoped, would substantially reduce litigation and further a relationship of partnership.
The dynamics of a liberalized trading system sometimes results in injury caused to domestic industry on account of dumping. When this happens, effective measures to redress such injury will be taken.
This Policy is essentially a roadmap for the development of India’s foreign trade. It contains the basic principles and points the direction in which we propose to go. By virtue of its very dynamics, a trade policy cannot be fully comprehensive in all its details. It would naturally require modification from time to time. We propose to do this through continuous updation, based on the inevitable changing dynamics of international trade. It is in partnership with business and industry that we propose to erect milestones on this roadmap.
MINISTER FOR COMMERCE & INDUSTRY
GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
31ST AUGUST, 2004