Exports are likely to reach $900 billion in 2023-24, exporters say

India’s exports of goods and services could reach $900 billion in the current fiscal year, up from $770 billion last year, and remain resilient despite global headwinds, a top official of a group of exporters said. Exports of goods could rise to $495-500 billion, while exports of services could reach $400 billion by March 2024, said Ajay Sahai, director-general of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO).

Foreign demand remains strong in many markets, he added. However, Trade Minister Piyush Goyal urged exporters to explore new markets amid the potential impact of a war in Ukraine and a global slowdown.

“The times ahead will be very, very tough,” Goyal said late Wednesday at an industry event, warning of the consequences of the conflict. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has set an export target of US$2 trillion by 2030 and offers benefits to boost exports of electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals and other commodities.

India’s exports have grown by more than $200 billion over the past two years, led by a surge in exports of software, mobile exports, and agricultural and petroleum products. However, exports of machinery, precious stones and jewelry have slowed in recent months.

Exports of agricultural, petroleum and electronic goods remained strong in western markets due to price factors, while exports to countries in Asia and the Middle East grew significantly, exporters said. Sahai, who was part of a 50-strong business delegation to Russia last week, said there was huge demand for Indian goods, particularly food, following Western sanctions over the Ukraine war.

“Indian exporters hope that both countries will soon work out a mechanism that would allow payments in local currencies, which would make it easier to ship Indian goods to Russia,” Sahai said. But Indian officials said Russia is reluctant to accept payments in the rupee currency for its oil exports. India has not explicitly condemned the February 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and has called for dialogue to settle hostilities.

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