Meet to boost India’s merchandise exports

A meeting of India’s export promotion councils and key exporters was held in New Delhi on February 5 to discuss issues faced by the traders and formulate ways to raise India’s merchandise exports US$325 billion by March 2019

February 5, 2019

India recorded year-on-year growth of 13.3 per cent in overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in 2017-18 to reach US$498.6 billion in 2017-18, out of which US$303.5 billion was from merchandise exports

India’s foreign trade has seen a steady improvement on the back of improved logistics, trade facilitation, increased digitization and transparency, implementation of GST and capacity building through skilling development

The nation’s merchandise exports have been growing since 2016-17 for almost three years and are likely to reach a new peak in 2018-19. This will contribute to the target of setting up a US$5 trillion economy by 2024

The Government has sought to focus on 12 sectors to set up India as a service hub, beyond the nation’s expertise in IT-ITeS services; Indian is developing specific approaches for NAFTA, Europe, CIS, China, ASEAN and Africa

A meeting of India’s export promotion councils and key exporters was held in New Delhi on February 5 to discuss issues faced by the traders and formulate ways to raise India’s merchandise exports US$325 billion by March 2019. The meeting was chaired by Commerce Secretary, Anup Wadhawan. India recorded year-on-year growth of 13.3 per cent in overall exports (merchandise and services combined) in 2017-18 to reach US$498.6 billion in 2017-18, out of which US$303.5 billion was from merchandise exports. Government initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ that promotes indigenous manufacturing, along with regulatory and policy amendments have helped the nation emerge as the world’s manufacturer.

After reaching peak export of US$314.4 billion in 2013-14, India’s exports had come under pressure owing to accentuation of global economic and financial crisis which affected all the biggest economies worldwide. However, India’s foreign trade has seen a steady improvement on the back of improved logistics, trade facilitation, increased digitization to reduce human interface and increase transparency, implementation of GST and capacity building through skilling development. The nation’s merchandise exports have been growing since 2016-17 for almost three years and are likely to reach a new peak in 2018-19. This will contribute to the Government’s target of setting up a US$5 trillion economy by 2024.

Over the first three quarters of fiscal 2018-19 spanning April to December, merchandise exports have grown by about 10 per cent. Besides aiding economic growth, rising exports have helped in generating jobs and bolstering the nation’s foreign exchange reserves. The ‘Make in India’ initiative has encouraged a growing number of foreign companies to set up operations in India to cater to global markets. To keep up this momentum, the Government will set up a mission to regularly review the work of different export promotion councils and divisions of the Ministry of Commerce. The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) has already identified 100 billion exports in traditional, new markets and products.

Meanwhile, the Government has sought to focus attention on 12 identified Champion Services Sectors to set up India as a service hub, beyond the nation’s expertise in IT-ITeS services. Commodity and territory specific strategy is also being prepared for items such as gems and jewellery, leather, textile and apparel, engineering sector, electronics, petrochemicals, pharma, agri and allied products and marine sector. Additionally, the Export–Import Bank of India (EXIM Bank) has conducted market research and a draft export strategy is being prepared. Indian Government is also approaching export activities specific to different territories such as NAFTA, Europe, CIS, China, ASEAN as well as developing economies in Africa.

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