More customs cooperation to boost intra-BRICS trade: FIEO

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Enhanced customs cooperation, liberalisation in the visa regime and further simplification of trade procedure will help boost intra-BRICS trade, exporters body FIEO said today.

"Focus is required on issues like customs cooperation and trade facilitation to boost intra-BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) trade," FIEO President Rafeeq Ahmed said in a statement.

Simplification of procedures in obtaining work permits and business visas would definitely encourage Indian businessmen to increase trade and investment with other members of BRICS, he said.

Another major impediment is the lack of direct shipping lines and absence of bank branches in each other´s country, he said adding "provision of direct shipping will in particular make a major impact on intensifying our business ties by significantly cutting freight costs and delivery time".

He added that BRICS economies have a wider role to play in reviving the world economy.

In 2013-14, India's trade with other BRICS members was $ 92 billion.

"India has a negative trade balance with BRICS with imports of $ 64.6 billion and exports of 27.4 billion," he said.

Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is accompanying Prime Minister Narendra Modi, attended the meet of Trade Ministers of BRICS in Brazil today.

Intra-BRICS trade is about $ 230 billion and has the potential of more than doubling to $ 500 billion by 2015.

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