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Government seeks inputs on trade policy from IIFT graduates

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) The government on Friday sought inputs for review of the foreign trade policy (FTP) from students pursuing courses at its Institute of Foreign Trade, saying programmes in international business are most relevant as protectionism rises and the global economy tightens.

“I would draw your attention and seek your participation in the FTP, which is being reviewed,” Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at the 51st convocation here of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT).

“The major part is almost done. We did lot of stakeholder consultations. I would like you to look at the FTP and tell us what do you think will have to be changed, tweaked or amended. Give your inputs,” she said.

Earlier this week, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said at an event here that the review of the FTP 2015-20 is now at its final stages and would be completed by September.

At the convocation, Sitharaman said protectionism is increasing and trade barriers are coming up from the most unexpected quarters, which highlights the need for experts to analyse trends in the global economy.

“Programmes in international business and trade are most relevant in today’s world,” she said.

“This is because though the euphoria of globalisation did benefit different economies initially, but gradually due to various reasons, economies found the gap between rich and poor not narrowing and economic prosperity not increasing as expected, which has led to a tightening in the global economy and increase in protectionism in different forms,” she added.

The Minister also said that there is a shortage of well-trained trade negotiators, experts in international negotiations.

“IIFT can give people of that calibre. Give India that kind of negotiators and experts,” she said.

India has presented a paper to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on a framework for a trade facilitation agreement in services, Sitharaman said.

“That paper is gaining lot of momentum and it is under discussion in WTO. In my recent visit to Geneva, I discussed as how it can move forward,” she added.

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