November 6, 2019
Alkali Industry represented by Alkali Manufacturers Association of India (AMAI) has welcomed Indian Government’s decision not to sign the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Agreement as that would have undermined Indian industry’s interests severely.
The partner countries were pressurising India to offer concessions on most of the tariff lines to the great disadvantage of Alkali industry which is already facing the onslaught of cheaper imports notwithstanding adequate domestic capacities, AMAI has stated.
Mr. Jayanti M Patel, President AMAI
“Our experience with past Trade Agreements has been very bad as these have only increased the net trade deficit. The past FTA’s specially with Korea and Japan have resulted in the Indian chemical industry facing a surge in imports, severely harming the domestic industry. This is also particularly true of alkali chemical imports. For example, Japan’s share in imports of caustic soda was less than 5% just five years ago. After the India-Japan CEPA was operationalised, imports of caustic soda from Japan have steadily risen and now constitute over 55% of total imports. With a substantial increase in overall imports, the volume coming in from Japan has risen exponentially. Similar is the case with PVC from Japan and Korea,” said Jayantibhai Patel, President Alkali Manufacturers Association of India.
AMAI feels that the Prime Minister’s announcement will boost the morale of the domestic industry who have vociferously opposed India’s participation in the RCEP trade negotiations. The PM’s stand provides a boost to the “Make in India” programme.
The World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2019 released last month had placed India at third position in terms of market size. The pressure on India in the trade negotiations was a tactic by trade partners to grab a share of this huge market, at considerable disadvantage to the Indian industry. Event without an effective trade agreement, the Indian market was flooded with Chinese imports in almost all product lines. Any trade concessions would have had a crippling effect on Indian manufacturers, stated AMAI.
AMAI expresses its gratitude to the Prime Minister for his strong stand which will safeguard the interests of the Indian manufacturing industry. AMAI strongly believes that the PM’s announcement will also have a positive impact in halting the slowdown in the Indian economy.
AMAI represents the entire alkali industry and prominent PVC resin manufacturers in the country. The principal products of the industry are caustic soda/chlorine, soda ash and PVC resins. The alkali industry constitutes the largest segment of the Indian inorganic chemical industry. The Association represents over 50 plants spread across the country with an industry turnover of over Rs.25,000 crores that provides employment to nearly 2 lakh people.
AMAI actively engages with the government and with other trade bodies in the country and internationally for promoting sustainable growth of the Indian alkali and chlorovinyl industries, adoption of best & safe manufacturing practices and resource conservation. AMAI is the first chemical industry association in the country to launch a dedicated all-India toll-free helpline for handling Chlorine Emergencies.