India’s export prospects remain good: Ajay Sahai from FIEO

Despite a fall in exports in February, export prospects for the country remain bright, according to Ajay Sahai, director-general and chief executive officer of the Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO).

“We will end up with exports worth $447 billion in goods and $320 billion in services. While service sector exports saw 30 percent growth, the goods segment saw 6 percent growth,” he said.

“Given the global headwinds, this is a good achievement. Many countries are struggling to push their exponent in such a difficult situation,” he said.

Adverse global situation

He said the global situation is not very conducive to trade as interest rates have firmed and demand has suffered somewhat.

“Inflation is very high. Many of the advanced economies are facing a recession-like situation. The geopolitical situation has also influenced and amplified the uncertainty,” he said.

But the good thing, he says, is that it opened up opportunities in Russia and Europe.

“They (Russia) are looking for practically everything under the sun after the EU restricted the export of certain goods to Russia. It searches for technical goods, machinery, medicines and agricultural commodities,” he said.

New FTP

Explaining that the new foreign trade policy is a good move by the government, Sahai said the policy made it clear that Indian exports must depend on the strength of their competitiveness and that they should not seek subsidies to support them.

He said the Union government is trying to involve states to encourage exports. “It will launch a pilot program in 50 districts to focus on supply-side issues. After the pilot, it will be expanded to all districts,” he said.

He said FIEO has appealed to the government to allow a three-month transition period whenever it announces a major policy change. “It will allow us to fulfill the contractual obligations based on the benefits offered in the existing policy. We hope that our appeal will be considered,” he said.

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