Exports are the driving force of India’s growth strategy. GoI is coming out with a comprehensive plan to increase the share of global trade to 40% of GDP, which is likely to touch $5 trillion by 2025 — of which $3 trillion is expected to come from the services sector, and $1trillion from manufacturing and agriculture.
GoI is promoting exports in a big way through a multi-pronged strategy for market penetration, market research, and new products and markets.
Trade events are being organised in African, Central and South American countries to find new markets and to introduce new products. Because of these measures, exports are continuously registering growth.
Merchandise exports in 2017-18 grew by 9.8% year-on-year, while services exports were up by 17.8%. Total exports were up by 12.9% in 2017-18, compared to 2016-17. Exports during May 2018 alone were valued at $28.86 billion, compared to $24.01 billion during May 2017, thereby clocking a growth of 20.18%. This is the highest in the last six months.
GoI is ensuring that apart from export of traditional products, new products are added to the basket. It is also focusing on services. GoI has identified 12 services as ‘champion services’ and the Cabinet has approved Rs 5,000 crore for promoting them. An action plan for each of these sectors, which includes medical tourism and aviation, has been prepared that will promote the services domestically and globally.
Work is also on to identify clusters traditionally known for exports of certain products. The new industrial policy will have exports as a thrust area for manufacturing. Plans are afoot to develop clusters around coastal areas so that exports can happen faster, and also to identify agricultural exports as a major thrust area, which includes air hubs to evacuate agri products faster.
An informal inter-ministerial group that will meet every quarter to push for exports, to resolve difficulties and assess the progress across sectors has been set up. Each ministry and department should set targets for increasing exports of their product and product groups in 2018-19.
Apart from these domestic measures to increase exports, the department of commerce will soon open 10 offices in Indian missions abroad for accelerating export promotion activities.
The conference of heads of Indian missions is scheduled at the end of this month, in which trade promotion measures will be discussed. Although exports have grown in the past year, a quantum jump is required. All-out efforts will be undertaken to attain this end.
(The writer is minister of commerce & industry and civil aviation, GoI)