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India likely to maintain close to 20 pc exports growth

business Updated: Mar 09, 2008 12:46 IST

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An economic slowdown in the US notwithstanding, India is likely to maintain the 20 per cent growth in exports in 2008-09 but the basket may undergo a change, said a Finance Ministry official.

"US is one of the major destinations for India. We said that in the coming year, it may not be as good as it was earlier. But that does not mean we are not performing well. We are having 20 per cent plus growth and possibly we can continue with 20 per cent plus," H A C Prasad, Senior Economic Advisor in the Finance Ministry, told PTI.

In the US market, many of India's export items, particularly textiles, handicraft, have fallen. Same is the case with EU, but Asian nations and other economies, Indian exports have not fallen to that extent, he said.

India has set export target of 160 billion dollars for the current fiscal, up 28 per cent over 125 billion dollars in the previous year. Exports have already grown to 124 billion dollars till January and are likely to be close to 160 billion dollars in the full fiscal, with March usually expected to record higher figures, Prasad said.

"Another two months are left and we have to attain 160 billion dollars, which I think we may attain. Almost near to that. May be short by a few billion (dollars)," Prasad, one of the key team members who authored the External Sector part of the Economic Survey 2007-08, said.

Prasad said Economic Survey has pointed towards the areas of weakness for the coming year. "We have to work on the higher base of exports. On this base, we have to have higher exports. There is a recession in the world economy, including US".
A slowdown in the US affected the textile sector first, and then spilled over to other sectors, hampering India's exports to the US, European Union and elsewhere.