Exports rose 1.27 percent year-on-year in June to $22.57 billion, reversing a trend that started in December 2014 due to weak global demand and a fall in commodity prices. India’s goods exports are returning to the positive growth, comes at a time when the World Trade Organisation (WTO) had said on July 8 that it has introduced a new World Trade Outlook Indicator (WTOI) to provide “real time” information on trends in global trade.
“For the current period, the WTOI came in slightly below trend, with a reading of 99.0, and with a downward tendency in the most recent data, signalling that trade growth will continue to be sluggish in July and August. At present it (WTOI) suggests that trade growth will remain weak into the third quarter of 2016,” the WTO had said.
Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, “We have had extensive consultations with every export sector, and not once have I heard anybody tell me that exports are suffering because of our policies. They have conceded that global situation is bad. Commodity prices are coming down. Currency fluctuation is becoming the order of the day rather than an exception. Exporters are suffering, but they have said that the hand holding that the government is doing has helped.”
Sanjay Budhia, Co-Chairman of the National Committee on International Trade Policy & Exports of the industry body CII said that, the commerce ministry should “continue and further expand the incentive programs to ensure that the positive momentum of export growth is maintained.”
T. S. Bhasin, Chairman of the engineering exporters apex body EEPC India, said: “The turnaround in the headline exports numbers has come about in the face of pick up in some agri products and iron ore. However, the key sectors of engineering, gems and jewellery and petroleum products stay muted, requiring further support for improving the competitiveness in a difficult global market where China and Japan continue to stay weak.”
“A marginal cause of concern is the decline in labour-intensive sectors such as gems & jewellery and apparel exports. However firming of gold prices and the government’s recent package given to the textile and apparel sector will lead to better results in short span of time,” S C Ralhan, President of Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) said.