Jammu and Kashmir Government has come out with first-ever Trade & Export Policy to keep pace with the fast-changing economic relations developing around in the aftermath of trade liberalization and globalization.The J&K Trade & Export Policy (2018-28) drafted by the State’s Industries and Commerce Department in consultation with various stakeholders was last evening approved by the State Administrative Council (SAC) headed by the Governor N N Vohra.The Policy lays out the roadmap for the transition of the State’s agrarian economy to a market driven economy with the trade and commerce emerging as pivotal pillars in the shift towards new economic structure. It will facilitate transformation of the state economy from a supply constrained one into a competitive export-led entity.“The Trade & Export Policy is aimed at assisting J&K in carving a place for itself in the national economy and a niche market for its products at the national and international levels,” said Shailendra Kumar, Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce.He said the private sector will be the lead stakeholder in the new endeavor and the State’s unique products and services would enable it to occupy rightful place in the global markets.
“The Government’s role would be only that of an enabler and facilitator in this process,” he said and added that the role of trade sector towards realization of the goal of economic development will be attained through structural transformation on the economy and enhanced value-added productivity that would in turn contribute to the process of competitiveness and lead to rapid economic growth.Enumerating the broader objectives of the maiden Policy, Kumar said it will facilitate enhancing the State’s domestic trade volume to five times from the present level in next 10 years, will facilitate more investment in enterprises, help increase share of Trade & Commerce in GDP by at least 3% in next 5 years and to add to per capita income of the State, to help raise share of State in Gross National Export from the existing 0.05% to 2% in next 5 years, to help create employment opportunities for the educated unemployed and skilled youth in the field of trade and commerce, to facilitate Warehousing & Logistic support strategy and create support system for international certification, packaging, Common Facility Centres.Kumar said the policy would also help boost organic cultivation and certification, identification of export sectors with high global demand for local products, to help develop J&K as a dynamic sustainable and favored tourism destination and encourage private sector in creation of Tourism Infrastructure.
He said as a part of the Policy, the Government would support establishment of world-class warehouses/distribution centres/logistics parks/dry ports by allotting land and providing incentives for such activities. “It would also facilitate better road, rail and air connectivity to and from the State besides developing Communication & Logistics Infrastructure,” he said.Regarding branding of local products in the global markets, Kumar said efforts are on to get Srinagar City included in the UNESCO Creative Cities network under the category of Crafts & Folk Art. He said 180 cities make up this network at present.He said under the new policy brand Jammu and Kashmir would be promoted in trade of locally produced goods like Silk, Tweed, Pashmina and Jamawar Shawls, Silk carpets, Ladakh Carpets, Paper Machie, Embroidery, Ladakhi Handicrafts, Saffron, Jammu Basmati, Guchhi, Anardana, Honey.He said the Director General of Foreign Trade offices functioning and Government intends to establish local offices of other two National Level Export Agencies viz Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts (EPCH) and Carpet Export promotion Council (CEPC). He said the State Government has established JK Trade Promotion Organization as a Joint Venture Company with Indian Trade Promotion Organization & Export promotion Council for handicrafts as equity partners to promote and participate in handlooms/handicrafts/ industrial fairs and exhibitions in India and abroad.