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Eco Survey: Increase share in merchandise exports to 4% in 5 years

merchandise exports

India should more than double its share in the world merchandise exports to at least 4 per cent in the next five years

merchandise exportsNew Delhi:  India should more than double its share in the world merchandise exports to at least 4 per cent in the next five years, a government document said today.

In 2013, India’s exports share in the world merchandise exports was 1.7 per cent, said the Economic Survey 2013-14 tabled in Parliament.

“India should aim to increase its share in world merchandise exports from 1.7 per cent in 2013 to a respectable ballpark figure of at least 4 per cent in the next five years,” it said, adding: “India’s exports should grow consistently by around 30 per cent annually to reach” that figure.

It said the aim is “not impossible” as during 2003-04 to 2007-08, India’s exports grew consistently by above 20 per cent annually.

However, it said that achieving this aim in the medium term is a big challenge and some basic steps need to be taken like product diversification, building export infrastructure, focusing on useful free trade agreements, addressing the inverted duty structure, rationalising export promotion schemes, and taking steps for trade facilitation.

India’s merchandise exports share in world exports increased from 0.5 per cent in 1990 to only 1.7 per cent in 2013 whereas China’s share increased from 1.8 per cent to 11.8 per cent during the same period.

“Thus there is a yawning gap between India and China in the share of world merchandise exports,” it added.

The country’s exports grew by a double-digit pace for the first time in seven months in May, narrowing the trade deficit.

“In 2014-15 first quarter, trade deficit declined by another 42.4 per cent,” it said. It said the pick up in India’s exports in April-May 2014 though a positive sign, is partly due to the low base.

According to the IMF’s World Economic Outlook projection, world trade volume would grow to 4.3 per cent in 2014 and 5.3 per cent in 2015 from the 3.0 per cent in 2013 with a marked improvement in export and import growth of advanced countries.

However, it said there is also the downside risk of external shocks like the latest increase in oil prices owing to the Iraq crisis.

Talking about the services sector growth, it said services growth to a large extent depends on global growth and trade.

The prospects for IT services, however, seem bright with Gartner projecting a 3.1 per cent increase in IT spending worldwide in 2014 .

The robust growth in foreign tourist arrivals of 10.6 per cent coupled with the 11.4 per cent growth in foreign exchange earnings in the first two months of 2014-15 also augurs well for the Indian tourist sector.

“Thus the signals in India’s service exports are mixed,” it added.

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