India’s engineering exports are likely to cross $60 billion in fiscal 2016-17, on the back of a revival of demand in the US and for select products like iron, industry and commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman said at a press conference in Chennai on Thursday. For the April-January period of 10 months of the current fiscal, the engineering exports have touched a figure of $ 50.87 billion, exceeding the total shipments of $ 49 billion in the entire financial year of 2015-16.
For January 2017, engineering exports aggregated $ 5.29 billion, showing an increase of over 12% over the same month last fiscal, she said. Speaking to the media after inaugurating the International Engineering Sourcing Show, organised by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) and partnered by the Russian Federation, the minister said the department of commerce is engaged in a key initiative, with the support of the EEPC, for technology upgradation of engineering manufacturers to boost exports. This was being attempted by bridging the gap between leading R&D labs and industry for the development of cutting-edge, export-oriented technologies. She said there is enormous potential to enhance bilateral trade with Russia, presently at $6.62 billion.
Denis Manturov, minister of industry and trade of Russian, is leading a high-level 120-member delegation. This was the first time that the exhibition has been organised outside Mumbai.
Sitharaman said she discussed with the Russian minister the International North South Transport Corridor that would cut time and cost for transportation of goods between both countries. “We also deliberated upon other measures to enhance the trade ties, including the proposed FTA between India and the Eurasian Economic Union, which includes Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Both countries also noted the need to finalise a revised bilateral investment treaty,” she said.
On the initiatives to boost engineering products’ exports, she said the Centre has identified important industrial clusters and are interacting with stakeholders in order to identify technology gaps that can be filled by research labs and academic institutions.