Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), a deemed university in New Delhi, will have a campus in Visakhapatnam.

According to Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry D. Purandeswari, one of the campuses will be located in the city among four proposed by the government.

In her address at a seminar conducted on smoothening internal trade barriers for economic growth organised by the CII and Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung fur die Freiheit (FNSF), she said the Ministry of Commerce had agreed to give a grant of Rs.40 crore – at the rate of Rs.10 crore a year for developing an International Convention Centre. Later she told reporters that they had identified a suitable land near Kapuluppada. “The site is yet to be confirmed,” she clarified.

The Minister said the city needed an International Convention Centre as it was fast emerging as an industrial hub. It would be useful in hosting international conferences, she added.

Harping on plus points of the FDI policy, she said the States should supplement the efforts of the Centre to boost the economy by allowing FDI in retail trade. She said the UPA-II Government was spending 33 per cent of investment in back-end infrastructure like warehouses.

Stating that infrastructure deficiencies like power problem and road connectivity should go, she said the government was giving top priority to encourage investments in agriculture notwithstanding the criticism that the Centre was ignoring the farm sector.

Ms. Purandeswari said India could withstand global market meltdown in 2008 due to consumer-driven economy and conservative banking system.

Call to diversify

However, she remarked that they were not able to come out of the Eurozone crisis of 2010 the way the government they wanted it to be. She gave a call to diversify into non-conventional market.

Director General of Foreign Trade Anup K. Pujari underlined to increase cash reserves by increasing the exports and pointed out how the growth rate was coming down. Stating that it was a difficult phase for the economy, he said merchandise trade sector would flourish when dependence on imports would come down.

Mr. Pujari also wanted the trade to offer solutions to overcome falling exports to Brazil, Turkey, Tanzania, Philippines, Mozambique and other countries.

CII Vizag Zone chairman G. Sambasiva Rao presided. Past chairman R.V.S. Raju released report on market potential of air cargo service from the city. Among others, chairman of CII National Committee on Exports and Imports, CII deputy director general Amita Sarkar and Subodh Kumar of FNSF spoke.