Indian Trade Service ‘not prepared to take on all trade challenges’

India’s trade service is not prepared to face all trade challenge from foreign companies as it struggles to make ends meet, it has been revealed.

Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman was speaking at a public forum in the city of Coimbatore on Friday to unveil the government’s latest trade policy.

In a separate address, the commerce minister said India will be able to deal with all trade and commercial challenges to the country, including the upcoming WTO round in the next two years, by providing more help to its trade partners.

The country has already taken steps to ensure that it can cope with the challenges it faces, Sitharama said.

The commerce minister told the forum that India was planning to set up an ‘internal trade service’ and would soon set up a ‘trade delegation’ in China to work with foreign firms.

“We are working on the first phase of this plan,” she said.

She said the external trade service would be set up to provide advice to foreign firms on their business in India, and that the government would be setting up an external trade delegation for India in China.

She added that the internal trade service will be open to foreign companies that need to do business in the country.

Earlier this week, the government had announced that the country will be joining the World Trade Organization in March 2018.

India is also expected to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) as well as the European Union.