Comm Min urges exporters to focus on potential sectors to boost exports

The Commerce Ministry on Monday urged exporters to focus on potential key sectors such as food, electronics and machinery and 12 major markets to boost exports, an official said.

It has also been proposed to focus on organizing trade fairs and exhibitions on a global scale, the government official said.

These issues were discussed, inter alia, during a meeting with industry and exporters convened by the ministry.

The meeting was chaired by Trade and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.

The six sectors that have huge potential to increase the country’s exports include food, textiles, machinery, electrical and electronics, medical equipment, pharmaceuticals and auto components.

The top global destinations where exports could be further encouraged include the US, UK, Brazil, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Taiwan, Korea, Japan and Russia.

An industry representative who attended the meeting said the focus will be on both trade and investment.

Increasing investment will help boost trade through integration into global value chains.

The meeting gained prominence as the country’s merchandise exports fell over the past four months due to weakening demand in global markets.

One exporter said June’s export figures also looked “disappointing” due to global economic uncertainties.

“Trade and investment must be encouraged in parallel,” added the exporter.

Exports fell 10.3 percent year-on-year to $34.98 billion in May for the fourth straight month, while the trade deficit widened to a five-month high of $22.12 billion, according to the ministry.

Cumulatively for April-May of this fiscal year, exports fell 11.41 percent to $69.72 billion, while imports fell 10.24 percent to $107 billion.

Falling demand in major markets, high inflation in developed economies and the war between Russia and Ukraine are affecting the country’s exports.

In addition to the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) and industry associations, the meeting was also attended by representatives of various export promotion councils from sectors such as clothing and medical devices.

Last month, Trade Minister Suni Barthwal said the ministry was working on a trade strategy to boost exports.

The Department of Commerce, Department of Industry and Domestic Trade Promotion (DPIIT), Invest India and Indian missions abroad would focus on 40 countries.

These countries, including the US and European Union countries, account for 85 percent of India’s total exports.

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