The policy would outline the priority sectors as also sops, besides focussing on employment and labour intensive areas like textiles, leather, gems and jewellery, and handicrafts.These sectors are having a torrid time as their demand dried up significantly in the U.S. and the EU.

Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Monday met Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee and discussed the finer details of the new five-year Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), to be unveiled on August 27.

Faced with a continued downslide in exports in the last nine months, the new FTP is expected to address the problems of exporters in view of severe recession in their traditional markets of the U.S. and the European Union. It is understood that the new FTP would give certain incentives to exporters to widen their global markets beyond the U.S., the EU and Japan and venture into new markets including those of Africa.

“We will be surely looking at market expansion because if the diversion and expansion of market is not there, we will not be able to respond to this challenge,” Mr. Sharma said after the meeting.

Mr. Sharma told reporters here that the government could extend support but would not be in a position to generate demand in the Western economies which were contracting. India’s exports are on a downslide since October last and the average contraction has been around 30 per cent over the past nine months. The country’s exports were about $169 billion in 2008-09.

However, Mr. Sharma indicated that the policy would outline the priority sectors as also sops, besides focussing on employment and labour intensive areas like textiles, leather, gems and jewellery, and handicrafts. These sectors are having a torrid time as their demand dried up significantly in the U.S. and the EU.

Mr. Sharma said the policy would ensure that labour-intensive sectors were given special consideration.

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