Seafood sector seeks to speed up free trade pact

Visakhapatnam: The seafood exporters in Andhra Pradesh and parts of surrounding states are looking to speed up the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with key export destinations for relief from customs duty and to boost seafood exports. With the setbacks in US, the biggest market for seafood exports, seafood exporters said that there is urgent need to consider altering the strategy to attain the ambitious export target of $14 billion by 2025.

We are appealing to the Union government and officials in the sector to speed up the proceedings in a much favourable manner as our FTAs with different export destinations will increase the exports from the country, said A Indra Kumar, a seafood exporter from Andhra Pradesh.

Though India is one of the big seafood baskets for the world, the seafood export industry is likely to miss the target for the current fiscal due to drop in demand in the US and a few other countries. “At present, India is among the top five seafood exporting countries. We have suggested more value addition to marine products to increase the value of exports as only 40 per cent of the products are value added.” Indra Kumar said.

During 2021-22, India exported 13,69,264 tonnes of marine products worth 57,586.48 crore ($7,759.58 million) while AP’s share was 20,035 crore, which was over 34 per cent of the total exports.

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