India's exporters set $350bn goal
The country’s exports could rebound next fiscal to touch $350 billion with a pickup in global trade and economic activity, according to the Federation of Indian Exports Organisations (FIEO).
“This looks ambitious but definitely achievable, if we address our supply-side challenges,” Fieo president Sharad Kumar Saraf said.
He said exports may reach $290 billion by the end of the current fiscal as the outbound shipments were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic during the first half of the year. However, the year 2021 would bring a ray of hope and optimism for the exporting community.
“We are confident that a V-shaped recovery will be witnessed in world trade and we will recover much more from what we lost in 2020. Since the first and second quarters have been pretty bad, we may end the financial year 2020-21 with exports of around $290 billion,” he said .
The WTO in its recent forecast has projected a 9.2 per cent decline in the volume of world merchandise trade for 2020 followed by a 7.2 per cent rise in 2021.
The Fieo chief said exports growth was vital to clock 8 per cent plus GDP growth and to reach the milestone of $5 trillion economy.
“Our exports strategy should be two pronged: one focussing on sectors where major imports are happening and other to boost traditional sectors, which are important for exports as well as employment,” he said.
Saraf said the major contributor to global trade consists of electronics & electricals, machinery, automobile, pharma and medical equipment, accounting for about 40 per cent of global imports, in which the country’s current share is less than 0.9 per cent.
“The Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme is rightly focusing on these sectors. Once we create production capabilities in these products, pushing exports at a brisk pace should not be a challenge,” he said.
The Fieo president said robust FTAs (free trade agreements) with the country’s major partners such as the US, the EU and UK are required on a priority basis.
During April-November 2020-21, exports dipped 17.8 per cent to $173.66 billion. India’s exports had fallen 4.78 per cent to $314.31 billion in 2019-20.