Economy

New policy soon to perk up trade ties with China

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on November 12, 2017

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Flexible visa regime for professionals, removal of non-tariff barriers proposed





A new economic and trade policy with China is expected to be unveiled soon.

The proposed policy is likely to pave the way for a flexible visa regime for services suppliers and professionals.

“A simplified, streamlined and transparent visa regime is required, which is sine-qua-non for movement of professionals,” sources said.

The policy is expected to outline how non-tariff barriers (NTBs) can be removed.

It may take a mission-based approach, which would necessitate Government intervention to get business from Chinese State-owned Enterprises (SoEs). There is strong belief in trade circles that the bulk of the businesses lie with these SoEs.

At the domestic level, the policy is expected to talk about China-centric export incentives, reforms in labour laws, setting up more towns of excellence and integration of major partners into the manufacturing value chain.

The proposed policy comes at a time when the Government has already permitted the Chinese currency, Renminbi, as an acceptable currency under the External Commercial Borrowings.

Sources said the aim was to allay concerns about the rising trade deficit as also loss of India's competitiveness in labour-intensive and other sectors.

Although ministries, such as Finance, External Affairs, and Labour are involved in drafting the policy, it is the Commerce and Industry ministries that are piloting it.

When asked about the proposed policy in a press conference last week, the Commerce Secretary, Mr Rahul Khullar, said ‘when it is ready, the Government will announce'.

Sources said losing markets to China in product categories important to India and growing dependence on Chinese imports were some factors behind the new policy, which is expected to focus on the services sector.

“The services sector has critical mass to provide a major impetus to India's service exports to China as a possible counter to the rise in merchandise imports from China,” sources said.

As a result of heavy merchandise import from China, the trade balance is strongly in favour of China.

>shishir.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on September 26, 2011

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