Union commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said that the fall in exports has been arrested and growth will now steadily take place. The Centre has kickstarted the process of finding out new markets and with new export incentive schemes coupled with the sealing of new FTAs, it is hoping to fast-track the export growth momentum, she said. Speaking at the Regional Editors Conference in Chennai on Friday, she said exports during 2015-16 valued at $ 262.30 billion had registered a 15.5% decline. However, 12 sectors like tea, tobacco, spices, fruits & vegetables, cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items, ceramic products & glassware, drugs & pharmaceuticals, RMG (ready-made garments) of all textiles, jute manufacturing including floor coverings, carpets, handicrafts excluding handmade carpets & plastic & linoleum recorded positive growth in value terms. Exports to the top 15 destinations that are catered by Indian exporters had dropped. These include the US, the UAE, China, the UK, Singapore, Germany, Belgium and France, among others. New export markets, including Africa, Latin America and others, had been identified and the ministry is taking measures, including the signing of FTAs, to boost export to these new countries. \u201cWe are looking at signing FTAs with many countries and with Eurasia \u2014 a combined continental landmass of Europe and Asia,\u201d said Nirmala Sitharaman. India is the largest producer, exporter and consumer of spices in the world. During 2015-16, the export of spices & spice products from the country was 8,43,255 tonne, valued R16,238.23 crore. In the case of export of cardamom (small), there is an all-time high achievement of 5,500 tonne, valued R450 crore during 2015-16, she said.