India's exports grew by 43.9% to $29.1 billion in March, ending the year 2010-11 with exports worth $245.9 billion exports, a growth of 37.1% compared to the previous year. This was despite a bumpy recovery in some European economies.
"It is indeed heartening to see that our exports for the year touched $245.9 billion," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said.
Exports have crossed the $200-billion mark for the first time.
Imports during the year stood at $350.3 billion. "The good news is that trade deficit has come down to $10.44 billion," Sharma said.
Engineering goods constituted the largest component of exports entailing considerable domestic value addition and engineering exports grew by 84.8% to $60.0 billion.
Petroleum products export grew by 50.6% to $2.5 billion, while gems and jewellery exports increased by 15.3% to $33.5 billion.
"Based on the performance of exports, we are confident that we will achieve the target of exports worth $450 billion which we have set for ourselves in the draft strategy paper," Sharma said.
The government has sought public comments on a draft strategy paper on exports that seeks to more than double India's merchandise shipments to $450 billion by 2014.
The pharmaceutical industry, which has largely been dominated by generic so far, offers healthy growth prospects not just in terms of the expansion of generics space as such, as more and more medicines go into the sunset clauses of Intellectual Property Rights, but also in collaborative research and new drug discoveries.