$101 bn, an 'auspicious' milestone

Merchandize exports in the very first year of the foreign policy grew at 26 per cent.

india Updated: Apr 07, 2006 13:58 IST

India's merchandise exports have topped $100 billion during the 2005-06 fiscal year with a growth rate of 25 percent to reach a new milestone, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said on Friday.

"I am delighted to say merchandize exports have crossed the magic figure of $100 billion. In fact, they have touched the auspicious figure $101 billion dollars," Kamal Nath said, releasing the annual review of India's foreign trade policy.

"Our foreign trade policy has served us well. What else could account for the grand leap forward by our exports? Within just two years, we have jumped 60 per cent from $63 billion to $101 billion," he added.

Merchandize exports in the very first year of the foreign policy - that runs from 2004 to 2009 - grew at 26 per cent, and logged a growth of 25 per cent in the next fiscal.

Our imports have grown 32 per cent and stand at $140 billion - but $43 billion is our oil bill," the commerce minister said.

"Thus, our non-oil imports are $97 billion - a full $4 billion lower than our exports. On the non-oil front, therefore, we have a positive balance of trade," he said in his speech before representatives of India's foreign trade industry.

According to the trade data, exports from many sectors surpassed expectations - project exports expanded by 173 per cent, while 50 per cent growth was recorded in non-ferrous metals, pulses and dairy products.

Kamal Nath said India is also steadily increasing its share in important markets - growth in exports has been 30 per cent to Britain, 54 per cent to Singapore, 44 per cent to South Africa and 35 per cent to China.

First Published: Apr 07, 2006 13:58 IST