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Last updated: 19 Jan, 2021  

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Bikky Khosla | 19 Jan, 2021

Latest data released by the Commerce Ministry shows that India's exports rose 16.2 percent year-on-year between January 1-7 driven by good performance from engineering goods and petroleum products. For the fortnight ending January 14, overseas shipments grew 10.92% year-on-year to $11.81 billion, driven by a growth in pharmaceuticals, electronics and engineering sectors, indicating a revival in activity. This data is encouraging.

No doubt, the first and second quarter have been pretty bad for the exports sector, and this may result in overall exports of around $290 bn for the financial year 2020-21, but at present several sectors – including processed food, pharma, medical and diagnostic products, technical textiles, chemical, plastics, electronics – are witnessing good order booking position. The WTO has pegged 13% fall in global trade in 2020, followed by a 7.2% rise in 2021. So, the prospects looks brighter.

An exports association has recently viewed that India’s export strategy should be two-pronged: first, empowering the traditional sectors, and second, strengthening those sectors where major imports are happening. It adds that while the sectors such as electronics, machinery, automobile, pharma and medical equipment account for about 40% of global imports, India's share in these fields is less than 0.9%. It also calls for robust FTAs with some of our major partners like US, EU and UK.

Meanwhile, in its Financial Stability Report for January, the RBI Bank mentions that credit growth has remained subdued. On exports, it mentions that overseas shipments have shown some signs of revival while with gradual unlocking of the economy there is also a broad-based turnaround in imports. Now with the Union Budget scheduled on February 1, it can widely be expected that the Centre will come up with comprehensive relief measures that can help prop up the sector.

I invite your opinions.

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