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Clusters to boost exports

New Delhi: Union commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu on Thursday made a case for developing automobile clusters on the eastern and western coasts to promote growth and exports from the sector.

Prabhu said he would discuss the plan with Andhra Pradesh chief minister N. Chandrababu during the forthcoming partnership summit of the CII at Visakhapatnam.

"I will talk to the chief minister and we will make sure that we create a global-scale infrastructure auto cluster in Andhra Pradesh," Prabhu said.

He was speaking at the inauguration of an auto components expo here.

The minister wants a port-based infrastructure for the auto industry on the east coast, which will have all components for the sector.

Prabhu asked the industry to prepare a blueprint so that the discussion can be taken forward.

"Same thing, we can do on the west coast in Maharashtra. This will also help boost exports," he added.

According to Prabhu, the economy will touch $5 trillion in the coming years. Of this $5 trillion, $1 trillion will come from exports of goods and services, he said.

To meet this target, the ministry is preparing a detailed strategy, he added.

The minister urged global automobile firms to look at India as part of their global operations and identify products which can be manufactured here.

At the same event, Anant Gangaram Geete, minister for heavy industries and public sector enterprises, assured the industry of full support from the government.

He also urged the industry to focus on the manufacturing environment and consumer friendly products. PTI

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