NEW DELHI: The government plans to step up trade diplomacy to push exports, a senior official told ET, adding that Commerce Secretary SR Rao will brief Indian heads of missions accordingly when they arrive in Delhi later this week.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has called a meeting of heads of India's missions across the globe from September 14-16 and September 16 to discuss how the country is to be projected to the world.
"We have to sell the India story abroad to retain our chunk in the shrinking world trade in goods. The strategy has to be different for different countries," said the official, who requested not to be named.
India's exports dropped by 5.06% to $ 97.6 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal largely because of the dip in demand from the crisis-ridden European Union and the US, which is yet to recover from the economic downturn. The agenda for the prime minister's meeting is still being finalised, an MEA spokesperson said. However, the official quoted earlier, said the commerce and industry ministry has decided to use the opportunity to push the country's trade agenda.
Ambassadors from Latin American countries, such as Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, are likely to be engaged by Rao since the commerce department has identified these nations as potential markets for diversifying India's trade.
Similarly, ambassadors of African countries such as South Africa, Angola, Ghana, Uganda, Mauritius, Nigeria, Tunisia and Zimbabwe, are likely to get to discuss their strategies to promote Indian goods in their respective countries.
The commerce department is already in touch with a number of foreign missions to sort out specific issues.