New Delhi: The key challenge for the new commerce minister will be to ensure that Indian products become competitive in the global market, where merchandise demand has squeezed in the past six months, resulting in exports slipping into negative territory.
Exports, which contribute 17% in the country’s GDP, have seen a sharp decline since October 2008-09 with recession in major global markets, mainly the US and Europe.
Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) president A. Sakthivel sees hope in the next few months. “Of late, orders have started trickling and the situation is likely to improve in the next quarter,” he said.
It was due to an impressive growth rate of over 30% in the first six months of the previous year that exports managed to close the last fiscal with a modest expansion of 3.4%.
However, the second half saw monthly contraction right up to 33%. The position did not improve in the opening months of the current fiscal and millions of jobs have been lost, according to estimates of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.