India’s exports which have fallen for 15 straight months till now are likely to end below the lowered $260-billion target for this fiscal, said a senior commerce ministry official.
The target was set at $300 billion at the beginning of the last financial year. The next fiscal, however, is expected “to be better”, the official added.
The case of plunging exports has been a global trend which is why the government is not feeling the pinch. “Finance ministry is not bothered till the current account deficit is in control and even if the commerce ministry is approaching with ideas to bail out falling exports, it is not bothered,” the official said.
India’s merchandise exports fell by 5.7% to $20.7 billion in February this year. The figures for March are expected later this week.
Last week World Trade Organisation cut its global trade growth forecast to 2.8% from 3.9% earlier on account of slowdown in emerging economies and financial volatility. This wasn’t good news for India as it is aiming to increase its share in the global trade to 3.5% from the current 2% now by 2020, by when it also aims to double its exports to $900 billion.
Meanwhile, India is exploring bilateral trade deals with Iran and UAE.
“UAE is our biggest trading partner. Similarly, Iran is important as India imports a huge amount of crude oil and exports essential commodities to the country. Thus, new trade deals are the way forward to growth,” the official added.