Indian exporters look to Southeast Asia
While China granted its assent on 31 May to the export certification format furnished by the Export Inspection Council of India for Indian seafood exports, the move is not expected to lead to an exponential increase in exports to Beijing, say marine exports officials and the industry. Southeast Asia, led by the Asean bloc, has in the past decade emerged as a major market for Indian seafood exports.
“In fact, China’s influence on the Indian seafood industry has been on the wane as exports to Southeast Asian countries are surging, thanks to various Indo-Asean trade agreements signed in recent years. We expect Asean to emerge as a powerful influence in exports to Southeast Asia during fiscal 2013, and China’s share of Indian exports to fall by at least 2 percent,” said a senior Mpeda official.
Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam. Under a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the bloc in 2009, it was decided to eliminate duty on 80 percent of the goods imported into these countries by 2013. The agreement came into effect in January 2010, and the original 30 percent tariff on Indian imports into Asean is proposed to be brought down to zero by 2014.