Union Minister Suresh Prabhu today said trade policies cannot be formulated just within the four walls of the Ministry and that there must be an outreach to more agencies.
Policies of trade and commerce "are becoming extremely intricate," the Union Minister of Commerce and Industry said.
In his video message played at the inauguration of the two-day UEF Trade Summit here, Prabhu said more stakeholders need to be consulted on this subject.
"We must think about policies in a very comprehensive manner and that means lot of stakeholders need to be consulted. That means the government cannot just frame the policies within the four walls of Mantralaya (Ministry)," he said.
The government should "go out and have these outreach programmes" with those other than its agencies, he added.
Prabhu was originally scheduled to attend the event as Chief Guest, but said he could not make it, since he was travelling.
Therefore the video message was played out.
Speaking at the event, Sri Lankan Minister of Industry and Commerce, Abdul Rashid Bathiudeen recalled that his country had signed a free trade agreement with India in 1998.
The "most significant" Indo Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISFTA) played a crucial role in shaping his country's subsequent "economic integration" with other countries in the region, Bathiudeen said.
"Undoubtedly this is the most significant Indo-Sri Lanka partnership we have realised on the commercial front. I am sure that the ISFTA played a crucial role as a catalyst that shaped our subsequent economic integration that the other countries in the region," he said.
With the ISFTA becoming operational in year 2000, the value of Indo-Lanka bilateral trade has increased in an "unprecedented manner" from USD 650 mn in 2000, to close to USD 5 bn by 2016, he noted.
The two-day summit will among others, deliberate on ways to effectively influence economic, social and educational development of the country, UEF has said.