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Focus to shift to new markets in LAC and Africa to meet export target of $500 billion by 2014

In a bid to push up the country's exports that have slowed down due to uncertainty in Europe and the US, minister of state for commerce and industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has pitched for shifting focus from traditional markets to new markets.

Scindia said the market diversification strategy that has been put in place with an emphasis on tapping into new markets was in keeping with the changing global economic scenario. He was speaking at the `New Focus Markets: LAC & Africa' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in New Delhi, Latin American and Caribbean countries, in addition to emerging African nations, are on India's market expansion list to be able to meet the export target of $500 billion by 2014.

Sectors such as agriculture, pharmaceuticals, mining and renewable energy will be a priority for LAC countries with whom India already has binding regional trade agreements such as the India-Mercosur Preferential Trade Agreement and the India Chile Preferential Trade Agreement.

"The government will continue to concentrate on Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) and Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs), " Scindia said adding that already 10 FTAs have been successfully completed, while 5 Limited scope PTAs are partially completed and 7 more proposals for FTAs are under consideration.

Moreover, Indo-Africa trade has grown from $ 967 million in 1991 to $ 50 billion in the first quarter of 2011 with both countries already engaging in crucial sectors like agriculture, health, information and communication technology (ICT), education and skills transfer, to name a few.

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