Expressing hope that the worst phase for Indian exports is over, the government today said overseas shipments may now enter the positive territory.
Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that the declining trend in exports was tapering off in recent months.
“We hope that the worst phase for Indian exports is over and we will move on to the positive (zone) from here onwards,” she said at a function of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) here.
Declining for 16th straight month in March, exports contracted by 5.47 per cent to USD 22.71 billion in the month as shipments of petroleum and engineering products shrunk sharply due to tepid global demand.
For whole 2015-16 financial year ended March 31, exports declined by 15.8 per cent to five-year low of USD 261.13 billion.
The exports, which declined 24.4 per cent in November 2015, however contracted by 5.47 per cent in March.
The minister also said that there is an important need to focus on standards of the products and services exported by traders.
She said that now a days during any bilateral talk on trade related issues, negotiations focus on standards of products and processes. “Negotiations are now more hinging on standards.”
Sitharaman said that the global dip in trade would impact India’s exports also.
“Government is not sitting. It is doing lot of things (to promote exports). We are continuously trying to interact with the industry so that we can do something,” she added.
She said that two main challenges are – meeting the international standards and linking with the global value chain.
Speaking at the occasion, Commerce Secretary Rita Teaotia said, “Our agenda now is to support services exports”.
She too asked the industry to focus on standards to enhance competitiveness in the world markets.