New Record High: India Accomplishes $400 Billion Merchandise Exports Target

India has accomplished the $400 billion merchandise exports target well before the set deadline, said Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal on Wednesday. The merchandise exports from India crossed the $400 billion mark in the present financial year, that too nine days ahead of schedule. The earlier record high for exports stood at $330 billion achieved in 2018-19.

At a press conference, the Minister said that there was a detailed strategy in place, which led to the accomplishment of the export target. The strategy consisted of specific target sets such as country wise, product wise and EPC wise monitoring as well as course correction. The target of $400 billion of merchandise exports for 2021-22 was set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had exhorted the exporting community to search for new products in the export basket, look for newer destinations and make sure deeper penetration of the existing product and markets.

In order to achieve the target and approach set by the PM, the Department of Commerce disaggregated the $400 billion target in terms of regions and countries, as well as product or commodity groups

"Thus, in order to achieve the target and approach set by the PM, the Department of Commerce dis aggregated the $400 billion target in terms of regions and countries, as well as product or commodity groups. The government prepared a detailed strategy for achieving the targets and an elaborate monitoring system", the ministry stated.

The disaggregated targets have enabled tight monitoring by 'Country or Region or Mission or Export Promotion Councils. Not withstanding the challenges posed by successive waves of Covid, India's merchandise trade performance has shown impressive growth, and exports stayed above $30 billion for eleven consecutive months during April to February, wherein December 2021 in particular recorded the highest ever monthly merchandise exports recorded at $39.3 billion.

According to the sectors, engineering goods exports have gone up by nearly 50 percent vis-a-vis last year. "Higher engineering exports, apparel and garment export indicate that the misconception of India being a major exporter of primary commodities is gradually changing. We are now exporting more and more value added and high end exports, and this effort by our technology driven industries should continue.

Export of Cotton Yarn or Fabrics or Made ups, Handloom Products, Gems & Jewellery, Other Cereals and Man Made Yarn or Fabrics or Made up have registered a growth rate between 50-60 percent. According to the ministry, the agriculture sector made noteworthy progress, especially during the pandemic, with India emerging as a major global supplier of food or essential agriculture products.

Agriculture exports buoyancy is driven by commodities such as rice, marine products, wheat, spices and sugar, among others, recording the highest ever agricultural products export in 2021-22. The goal was accomplished as a result of policies and schemes being aligned such as smooth roll out of ‘RoDTEP’ and 'ROSCTL' schemes and extension of `Interest Equalisation Scheme' to exporte ministry said.

Rigorous efforts for domestic capacity enhancement for deepening integration in the 'Global Value Chains' are being made by working in close partnership with the industry to identify areas where India has competitive advantages. We will therefore work on strengthening our capabilities and create for the world on the lines of `Make in India'. PLI schemes for 13 key sectors of manufacturing starting from FY 2021-22 have been announced", added the ministry.

Additionally, the ministry said that an effort has been made to setup a firm backward forward linkage, starting from the district level to the overseas market with the help of multiple stakeholders. In between, the emphasis has been effective and efficient coordination among all stakeholders, i.e. district units, state and central governments, line ministries, EPCs, MSMEs exporting communities and our mission overseas to ensure breaking of silos to achieve a coherent and coordinated action for fulfilment of exports target.