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12th May 2022, Bengaluru: Department of Commerce, Government of India, in coordination with The Industries and Commerce Department, Government of the State of Karnataka, and the Services Export Promotion Council (SEPC), and other Apex Industry Bodies, Export Promotion Councils, Local Chambers of Commerce and Industry, organized a Stakeholders’ Outreach Programme on India-United Arab Emirates Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) and India-Australia Economic Cooperation and Trade Agreement (ECTA) today, 12th May 2022, at Hotel Shangri La, Palace Road, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
States’ outreach programmes are part of series of concerted and coordinated efforts being made by the Department of Commerce, Government of India, to sensitize and create awareness amongst exporters across the country on the conducive platform and the favourable trade ecosystem that is being created with conclusion of these landmark Trade Agreements with partners countries exhibiting significant trade complementarities with India. This particular outreach event was exclusively meant for local industry and exporters, particularly from the MSME sector, from the State of Karnataka. Given the importance of the event and the potential for immense benefits for the industry participants, the event witnessed participation of over 200 businessmen from the State of Karnataka, cutting across industry segments and sectors.
As part of the event, two panel discussions were also conducted with the participation from Industry representatives. The panelists discussed ways and means of leveraging on the strengths of Karnataka, as a leading export hub, and optimizing the gains from the Trade Agreements in exports of both goods and services. Further, there was participation from various sectors of industry such as Engineering, Pharmaceuticals, Gems and Jewellery, Textiles, IT&ITES, Mining & Minerals, Education services, and R&D etc.
Delivering the welcome remarks, Dr. Abhay Sinha, Director General, SEPC provided an overview of the two recently concluded landmark trade agreements, viz., India-UAE CEPA and India-Australia ECTA and succinctly highlighted the benefits that can accrue to the exporters from the State of Karnataka.
Shri Darpan Jain, Joint Secretary, Department of Commerce, delivered a comprehensive presentation, which elaborated on the various aspects of the Trade Agreements and explained in detail the concessions on goods and services exchanged by India with the UAE and Australia, measures incorporated for facilitation of bilateral trade, safeguards that have been placed to protect the Industry, and projected gains in exports, GDP, and employment across various sectors, particularly the labour intensive ones. A need to diversify India’s services export basket, presently dominated by IT/ITeS, was emphasized and potential benefits in various services sectors arising from these FTAs were highlighted. These include Professional Services, Business Services, Audio Visual Services Education Services, Health Services, Fintech etc.
Shri Dr E.V.Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Karnataka, provided an overview of the Industrial profile of Karnataka and also spoke about the huge latent potential of the State, which is already a powerhouse of IT/ITES, ranking first in the country in IT/ITES exports. He also expressed optimism at the prospect of the State deriving benefits from these Trade Agreements on the back of its own immense advantages. He also shared a statistical snapshot of Karnataka, including an overview of the macroeconomic indicators, external sector performance, and a summary compilation of top goods and services exported from the State.
The Chief Guest of the event was Shri Pralhad Joshi, Member of Parliament and Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs, Coal and Mines of Government of India. Addressing the gathering, Hon’ble Minister Shri Pralhad Joshi highlighted the various initiatives and reforms being undertaken by the Government of India to further improve the ease of doing business; the significant milestones achieved in the form of the record-high annual exports of goods and services in the current year of around US$ 674 billion; reiterated the vision of realizing Aatmanirbhar Bharat and how exports play a crucial role in this process; and finally delineated the immense advantages of the State of Karnataka.
Participants at the event exhibited enthusiasm at the prospects of deriving immense benefits from the Trade Agreements and committed to forging newer trade relationships with importers in these partner countries with an objective to increase their market shares across sectors and Industries.
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