UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.1604
TO BE ANSWERED ON 16.03.2017
TRADE RELATIONS WITH AFRICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN NATIONS
1604. SHRI SAMBHAJI CHHATRAPATI:
Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:
(a) whether Government has taken special initiatives for expanding trade relations with African and Latin American nations where a lot of potential still exists despite dominance of Chinese goods and if so, the details thereof; and
(b) the details regarding specific jobs Indian Embassies and Missions perform in strengthening trade relations with African and Latin American countries?
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]
(a) Government has taken various initiatives for expanding trade relations with African and Latin American nations:
Trade Relations with African nations:
Various steps have been taken by the Government to increase exports to Africa. The trade between India and African countries are reviewed regularly, including through bilateral mechanisms like Joint Commission Meetings and Joint Trade Committee Meetings. The
4th India-Africa Trade Minister’ Meeting was organized in New Delhi on 23rd October, 2015 to boost the India-Africa trade. Negotiations to enter into FTA/ PTA/ CECPA with COMESA (Regional Economic Community), SACU (Customs Union) and Mauritius (bilateral)
are in progress. Promotional events like Trade fairs / Buyers Sellers Meet are also organised regularly in African countries under Market Access Initiatives (MAI) Scheme with a view to diversify and boost exports to Africa.
Trade Relations with Latin American nations:
In order to encourage the Indian private sector, as well as state entities, to develop stronger trade and investment linkages with LAC countries, the integrated "Focus LAC Programme” was launched in November, 1997 which has been extended from time to time.
It was last extended up to March, 2019 with the objective to further deepen India’s trade ties with LAC region.The 7th edition of India-Latin America and Caribbean (LAC) Conclave was organized in Mexico in November, 2016. The Conclave was organized for the
first time in the LAC Region to boost the trade relations
Apart from that the following major initiatives are being taken to enhance India’s presence in LAC region:-
(i) Expansion of India Chile PTA:- As a follow up to the Framework Agreement to promote Economic Cooperation between India and Chile, a PTA was signed in March, 2006 which came into force in August, 2007. The existing India-Chile PTA has been expanded which
provides more coverage.
(ii) Expansion of India MERCOSUR PTA:- India-MERCOSUR PTA was signed on January 25, 2004 and came into effect from 1st June, 2009 as a follow up of Framework Agreement signed in 17th June, 2003 at Asuncion, Paraguay. (iii) Trade Agreement with Peru:-The Cabinet
has recently approved the Cabinet Note on 18th January, 2017 to hold negotiations with Peru for a Trade Agreement on trade in goods, services and investment. The process of negotiations with Peru on trade agreement has been initiated.
(b) Government of India in coordination with Missions and Embassies abroad encourages and assists private businesses/investors from India to explore the vast economic and commercial potential abroad and increase investments, sending business delegations, holding
various market expansion/trade promotion activities, participation in various exhibitions, trade fairs, etc. Indian Embassies and Missions act as the interface and nodal point in facilitating bilateral trade relations at the Government to Government, Government
to Business, Business and Business levels. They respond to commercial enquires from India and host country; Organize visits of Chamber of Commerce, Export & Trade Promotion Councils; Liaise with local Chamber of Commerce; and Organize seminar and workshops
to disseminate information regarding Government of India’s flagship programmes.