PM visit to CIS countries should help Indian exports cross non-trade barriers: EEPC India

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to the CIS countries should work as an ice-breaker of kind since India's exports of engineering and manufactured products to the region are less than one billion dollar, and are skewed towards Russia and Ukraine, an EEPC India paper noted.

India's exports, which aggregated to $71 billion to the entire world market, were just about $960 million to the CIS countries, of which 70 per cent were shipped to Russia and Ukraine, the apex engineering export council pointed out.

" Non-tariff measures adopted by the CIS countries also play a major role in determining the market access of exporters. Among the CIS countries Russia is the most intensive user of Non-tariff measures (NTMs), followed by Kazakhstan and Belarus. On the contrary, Kyrgyzstan has the most liberal trade regime in terms of non-tariff protections. The NTMs use can differ from country to country, " Chairman of the EEPC India, Anupam Shah said.

Shah urged the high-level official delegation accompanying the Prime Minister to impress upon the CIS countries, particularly Russian leadership to allow better market access to the Indian products which used to dominate the region in the Soviet era.

Countries like Russia have brought in a number of Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) measures in automobile sector. Apart from the TBT measures, there are a number of other NTMs such as a cumbersome customs procedure and documentation process. Most of the CIS countries adopt significantly large domestic value content criteria, whereby the exporters from other countries outside CIS are restricted.

Importantly, there has been a lack of focus on the part of India in terms of CIS as a market after the disintegration of USSR. There has been hardly any regular interaction in terms of strengthening commercial relations especially between the business communities of India and CIS. Geographical distance between India and CIS nations, Inadequate transit facilities,Costly and cumbersome exports - lengthy process, poor logistic facilities,Weak and unsound banking and financial institutions .Language barriers and Weak legal systems - problems in dispute settlement, the EEPC India paper stated.

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