As you all know, the global trade scenario has witnessed rapid changes in the recent months. From a multilateral trade system under WTO era, we have seen emergence of strong trade blocks focusing on bilateral trade agreements.
India is negotiating major trade agreements namely RCEP (involving ASEAN, China, Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand) and Eurasian Economic Union (comprising Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus and Armenia). Besides, we hope that the Trade and Investment Agreement with European Union will be finalized soon. These trade agreements will open-up new vistas for Indian leather and footwear industry.
The rising trade tensions between USA and China and the levy of additional 10% import duty by USA on certain leather goods exported from China w.e.f. Sept. 24, 2018 has opened a window of opportunities for India, including enhancing our market share in USA and attracting Chinese investments into India for manufacturing. At this juncture, there is a need to enhance our price competitiveness through lowering of interest rates on export credits so as to capitalize on the favourable trade scenario and enhance our production and exports.