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India is monitoring Brexit development:Commerce Minister

India is monitoring the developments of ‘Brexit’ as it would have a bearing on the country’s trade with European Union and the UK, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Monday.

Nirmala Sitharaman-AV

She said that although decline in exports is bottoming out, “we will have to watch the two obvious developments globally as a result of which your international trade related matters are going to have a bearing such as the Brexit”.

“We will assess the impact (as in) what happens if Britain continues or go out (from EU), she said when asked about the possible impact of Brexit on India.

EU is one of the India’s major trading partner. It accounts for about 15 per cent of the country’s exports.

She also said that the contracting economies and developments in nations, including Venezuela, too would have some impact on India’s trade.

“…EU demand is waiting for the outcome of Brexit. We still have some way to go before we say, yes there is a revival (in exports). But we can see it is bottoming out. To see the pick up (in exports), I want some international developments also to happen whichever way it happens,” she added.

The remarks assume significance as exports fell the 18th month in a row in May, though marginally by 0.79 per cent, to $22.17 billion as several non-oil sectors such as engineering and gems and jewellery saw a rise in outward shipments.

When asked about start-ups, she said the government has taken lot of steps for the budding entrepreneurs like helping them in a way to find investors also.

“There are issues with incubators…start-ups are not going out of India,” she said adding there would a start-up function in Hyderabad in September where investors would also participate.

On the ongoing Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations, she said there is no pressure and talks are progressing.

On the issue of pulses prices, she said the government is taking lot of steps to rein in the prices including importing from countries and getting into government-to-government deals.

On GST, she said, the Finance Minister is talking to all the political parties.

Tamil Nadu has certain issues as that is a manufacturing state and they have some natural reservations and “I expect that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister will support the GST”.

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