The five-member BRICS bloc saw a 5.8 per cent growth in containerised trade with the world in the first half of 2016 on the back of a strong showing by India, says Maersk Line, the world’s largest container shipping company. “BRICS export-import (exim) containerised trade with the world registered a growth of 5.8 per cent in the first half of 2016 as against de-growth of 2.2 per cent in the same period last year,” it said. This growth for BRICS, it said, was “led by India followed by China and is forecast to gain pace next year as Brazil and Russia are expected to emerge from recession, contributing to higher GDP expansion”. Volumes should improve as GDP for BRICS is expected to increase to 5.7 per cent in 2017, an improvement over the previous forecast of 5.3 per cent.
“China is expected to grow more than 6 per cent in 2017, India at 8 per cent, Brazil at more than 0.5 pr cent and Russia at above 1 per cent,” it said in a release here. Economic uncertainty has been a deterrent to investments in infrastructure, which is critically important to help countries lower their supply chain cost and consequently boost exports as well as improve competitiveness. According to Maersk Line, if a country is able to lower trade costs by 10 per cent, exports can increase by more than 20 per cent. The heads of BRICS countries are meeting in Goa this weekend to discuss improving collaboration and increasing trade.
While 2016 did not start positively for the world, India paced up in the first half of this year. This growth was on the back of a strong US economy and recovery in the European market. “That said, it is worth mentioning that trade among BRICS countries continues to grow although China remains BRICS’ as well as India’s largest trading partner responsible for 82 per cent of Indian containerised trade.”
Franck Dedenis, MD, India, Sri Lanka & Bangladesh Cluster, Maersk Line, said: “India exim trade with BRICS nations has been consistently growing at 4 per cent since 2012.” He further said recovery in Brazil and Russian economy is “good news” for BRICS and it might entail an increase of trade among India and China in 2017.
“We are also noticing some interesting trends that are beginning to emerge of late. Rise of India, Thailand and Vietnam as alternative sourcing markets to China can put some pressure on China in future,” he said. China, Maersk said, remains India’s strongest trading partner followed by Russia and Brazil. India’s exim trade with BRICS nations was strong at 6.5 per cent and 7.8 per cent, respectively, in 2015 and 2016.