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Trade service officers to engage more in FTA negotiations, policy making

New Delhi, November 9, 2022

Indian trade service officers would be engaged more in the negotiations of free trade agreements (FTA), industry deliberations and policy-making, Commerce Secretary Sunil Barthwal said on Tuesday.

He was addressing an Indian Trade Service Officers conference, which was held at Kevadia, Gujarat.

It was conducted for brainstorming on future foreign trade policy (FTP), and to formulate sector-wise and state-wise export strategies to boost exports from India. Over 75 officers attended the conference.

The secretary emphasised the importance of specialising in the specific area of international trade.

He underlined the importance of institutional memory for any department and urged the trade service officers to specialise, and become a more effective resource for the Department of Commerce.

"He also laid out the plans for deeper engagement of the cadre into FTA negotiations, industry deliberations and policy making," the commerce ministry said in a statement.

Earlier, Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) Santosh Kumar Sarangi stated that sector-wise and state-wise export promotion strategies need sharper focus in coming years to achieve USD 2 trillion of exports in merchandise and services by 2030.

The officers have been divided among 10 sector-specific groups that focus on specific sectors of the industry, including goods, projects, and services.

The teams are working to develop a sector-specific strategy in collaboration with experts, industrialists and export promotion councils, it said.

"A presentation on the Global Trade Promotion Organization (GTPO) was also made. GTPO is a key recommendation of BCG consultancy in their report for revamping the Department of Commerce. GTPO is expected to play a key role in future export promotion initiatives in the country," the statement noted.

The proposed body would be manned by the trade service officers at key positions, it added.

[Press Trust of India]

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