MUMBAI, INDIA - World Trade Centre Mumbai organized the 3rd in series World Trade Day Maharashtra in Pune on May 24, 2017 at the EON IT Auditorium in Pune. Two panels discussions were organized on the Day. Mr. Santosh K. Vatsa, Joint Commissioner of Customs, Pune, the Chief Guest of the event spoke at the panel discussion on ‘Ease of Doing Business: Clear-in Pune’. He said, “We at Pune Customs want world trade to thrive in this region which in turn would increase India’s GDP. Businesses should approach us with the sole intent of seeking additional information with regard to schemes and advantages that they could gain from the Customs Regulatory framework. Earlier, we were viewed as a regulator and over time we have become trade facilitators. We support trade by keeping it informed about the number of initiatives Government of India has introduced”.
Mr. Vatsa further said that it takes only four hours for custom clearance of exports. At Pune, import consignments are cleared within 24 hours. “The Alibaug- Goa jurisdiction connects 9 minor ports with Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) facility. All major and minor ports EDIs’ will be rolled out by the end of the June 2017. These technological advancements will help businesses take advantage both in terms of time and monetary gains”, he explained.
The panelists shared their insights and experiences on Pune’s international trade. The moderator of the session was Mr. Rajdeepak Bhargava, Founder President, Pune Customs House Agents’ Association.
Mr. Harish Radhakrishnan, General Manger, Serum Institute of India, Pune said, “MODVAT will be replaced by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) which will help plan businesses in a better way. It is important to have fresh approach in business, generate new ideas and take them forward”.
Mr. Niranjan Joshi, Assistant General Manager-Container Movement (Bombay) Pvt. Ltd., (Shipping Corporation of India) said, “Shipping Corporation has developed new concepts and initiatives. The Corporation’s goal is to increase import volumes to Pune. This is only possible if all stakeholders participate in this process.”
Another panel on ‘Regional Trading Blocs and the Emerging Trading System’ was organized, moderated by Dr. Ram Upendra Das, Head & Professor, Centre for Regional Trade, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), New Delhi. He unraveled the features and dimensions of trading blocs. He said, “There is enormous potential for Pune exports, however exports have to be competitive through pricing, quantity and quality. The trade in goods must have a competitive advantage which is decided by supply side constraints and demand side issues.”
Dr. Das said that when a government signs a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with a country it is important to negotiate tariffs. Exports have to meet sanitary and phytosanitary standards. When negotiating an FTA, tariff reduction is of prime importance. Market access could lead to increase in the scale of production while keeping to quality standards. Regional Trading Blocs (RTAs) are important for increasing business and employment generation.
Dr. Saon Ray, Senior Fellow, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi said,” The Indian passenger car industry is one of the most successful cases of Global Value Chain (GVCs) integration. The automobile industry is organized in clusters – one of which is in Pune with centre in Pimpri, Chakan and Ranjangaon. SMEs catering to car manufacturing need assistance to establish links with value chains. They must engage in GVCs to gain market access, which create optimism among entrepreneurs. In order to achieve that, regional value chains are the need of the hour
Dr. Sukalpa Chakrabarti, Deputy Director and Associate Professor, Symbiosis School of International Studies, Pune said, “To make the most out of the international trade regime, SMEs need to develop a strong technological foundation and global business outlook combined with competitive spirit to be able to withstand the current challenges. While Pune is on a positive path of economic growth, the next step forward for the city would be to take on a direct role in developing networks and partnerships for trade, investment, knowledge and economic development with other cities, globally.
Mr. A. O. Kuruvila, Advisor-Trade and Education, World Trade Centre Mumbai introduced the concept of World Trade Day (WTD) which is an initiative of world trade centers and trade promotion organizations across the world. World Trade Centre Mumbai has launched WTD first in Maharashtra, India to create awareness about the benefits of international trade and its impact on regional growth. WTD is being celebrated in key cities across India through a series of panel discussions, seminars and workshops.
In Photo: From (L-R): Mr. Nikhil Oswal, Mr. Harish Radhakrishnan, Dr. Ram Upendra Das, Mr. A. O. Kuruvila, Mr. Rajdeepak Bhargava, Mr. Santosh K. Vatsa and Dr. Sukalpa Chakrabarti, Deputy Director and Associate Professor, Symbiosis School of International Studies.