In a study on ways to boost merchandise exports,  the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has identified 31 items with high potential for exports such as women’s apparel, drugs, cyclic hydrocarbons and furniture.

“A targeted export strategy that identifies and boosts the right products is imperative for achieving double-digit export growth. An export strategy assumes greater significance given a rapidly changing global trade landscape, shifting of global value chains and new free trade agreements, including mega trade agreements. CII has analysed and identified select export items where India can become a leading exporter and offers recommendations for boosting such products,” said Chandrajit Banerjee, Director-General, CII, in an official release.

India’s exports in the first quarter of the on-going fiscal contracted compared to exports in the same period last year due to weakening of global trade growth and lower demand. In 2018-19, India’s exports  increased 9 per cent to  hit a new high of $331 billion, breaching the previous high of $314 billion clocked in 2013-14.

The paper employed a dual identification strategy of shortlisting top imports of the top importing nations. “These products at the HS 4-digit level are mapped with India’s current export profile for determining its export competitiveness to these top importing nations. Four criteria are considered — the total exported value of products, world export shares, India’s rank as a top exporter in the top import items and India’s frequency as a top exporter among those top imports,” the release said.

After applying these filters, 31 products were identified for increased focus. As per the study, the items where India has a strong footprint include women’s apparel and medicaments. The ones with significant potential include cyclic hydrocarbons and furniture. Products where capacities need to be enhanced include telephone sets, electrical apparatus, motor cars and motor vehicles.

“For enhancing the market promotion of the select products, CII recommends that non-tariff barriers must be taken up with the respective governments of destination countries. Other suggestions include facilitating effective marketing strategies by setting up centres in top international markets, product promotion and integration of brand building initiatives with India’s commercial missions,” the release said.