Commerce Secretary urges policy framework to address export financing woes
New Delhi [India], Jan 13: In lieu of the inefficiency of India's current institutional framework in recognising risks of overseas markets, Commerce Secretary Rita A. Teaotia highlighted a "pressing need" to devise policy framework needed to address issues of finance to exports. "We need to actually gear up not just the regulatory frameworks to address the precise needs of export finance and institutions serving export markets but also look at the costs of being able to serve smaller organisations using technology, using better tools in order to bring down the costs of actually extending credit to MSME sector," she said while inaugurating an ASSOCHAM conference on 'Role of trade finance for inclusive growth,' in Mumbai. Taking cognisance of the challenges for the SME sector, particularly exporters, Rita said the availability of finance and export finance is constrained and hampers the competitiveness of India's exports. Unless this challenge is addressed, Rita opined that India will not gain global significance. Lamenting that India has been opposing discussions on new issues like e-commerce, SMEs, gender, investment at the World Trade Organisation (WTO), she said "Why have we done this? It is relevant to us. These are important issues, we recognise, e-commerce is something we want to profit by, we want our companies to grow, we want our sellers to sell on e-commerce, we are an SME dominated country, we want those companies to prosper." She also stressed the need to gear up the banking policy and financial institutions to serve the needs of smaller manufacturers, service sector companies and exporters. "There has been a lot of thinking about this, but really gearing up the institutional framework for that and actually having some kind of assessment of how we are moving forward and ensuring that we are moving in the right directions perhaps that pace we need to put in place," said the Commerce Secretary. Rita further said India must look at sectors where it has the potential to be a champion, adding that focus in terms of policy, initiative and effort is on actually improving the competitiveness of Indian products and Indian industry.
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