India’s exports may decline in 2020-21 to $290 billion, rise to $350 billion next fiscal: FIEO

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on December 30, 2020

Order booking position improving for processed food, pharma, medical products, technical textiles, electronics, plastic, chemicals

India’s exports in 2020-21 may decline around 7.3 per cent to $290 billion compared to $313.36 billion in the previous fiscal due to a sharp fall in the first and second quarters induced by Covid-19 disruptions. But things may improve substantially next year, as per estimates made by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

“Looking into the extremely good order booking position for food including processed food, pharma, medical and diagnostic products, technical textiles, chemical, plastics, electronics and networking products, we should endeavour to take exports to $350 billion in 2021-22,” said S K Saraf, President, FIEO, in an official release.

While the target for 2021-22 may look ambitious, it is definitely achievable if supply side challenges are addressed, he said.

The World Trade Organisation (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.

Also read: Container shortage hits export shipment schedules: Texprocil

On India’s exports strategy, Saraf said that it should be two pronged. While focus should be on sectors where major imports are happening, efforts should also be made to boost traditional sectors, which are important for exports as well as employment.

There exists a lot of scope for increasing exports as India’s share in the major contributors to global trade, which consists of electronics & electricals, machinery, automobile, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, is less than 0.9 per cent. “It is very satisfying that 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,” Saraf said.

He added that both for attracting exports-led FDI and exports, India requires robust free trade agreements with some of its major partners like the US, the EU and the UK, which should be prioritised.

Also read: India’s external sector gloom amidst the global pandemic

India’s goods exports declined 17.76 per cent in April-November 2020-21 to $173.66 billion, as per figures circulated by the Commerce & Industry Ministry.

Published on December 30, 2020

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