Home / News / India /  India’s exports would register annual growth rate of 10-12% despite external headwinds: Piyush Goyal

Stating the external headwinds such as high inflation in western countries and declining growth momentum are bound to have some impact on Indian exports, commerce minister Piyush Goyal speaking at the Hindustan Times leadership summit, reaffirmed that India’s merchandise exports would still record an annual growth rate of 10-12%.

Goyal’s comments come after slowing export growth in the country sparked fears of job loss in labour-intensive sectors such as textile and manufacturing. India’s merchandise exports grew at the slowest pace in 19 months while imports moderated despite sharp currency depreciation in September.

“Businesses never panic over a monthly up-down. There have been a number of external headwinds, covid, a war that sent the commodity prices shooting up, and a decline in demand in western countries ..but India's merchandise trade will grow by about 10 to 12% annually. And there is statistical evidence that India will become a $30 trillion economy when we complete 100 years of independence," Goyal said.

Key sectors including engineering, ready-made garments, cotton yarn, plastics and linoleum reported a decline in exports in September compared to the corresponding month last year owing to slowing demand across India’s major markets including the US and the European Union amid high inflation and recessionary outlook.

Speaking about the free trade agreement (FTA) being signed under the Modi government, Goyal said that the FTAs are no longer signed for the sake of it and it is being made sure that India’s long-term benefits are taken care of.

“Unfair trade deal was negotiated earlier. The BJP government believes in continuity and so we were continuing our negotiations on Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) but our MSMEs and dairy sector were afraid of the deal and the impact of the deal. The reason we walked out of RCEP is that it is essentially a China- India FTA. I don't know why and how this is being done," the minister said.

Responding to a question on an FTA with the US, Goyal said that the US is in a different position at the moment and it is not signing an FTA with anyone at the moment let alone India.

“And India- US trade is only getting better. We did opt out of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), but we have not closed the doors on it. We are not doing it at the moment. Discussions are taking place and if we think we will be able to benefit substantially, we will consider joining it.

But India will sign deals on its own terms. You heard US treasury secretary Janet Yellen talking about friend shoring. They want to improve trade relationships with India and there is massive interest in India for an FTA. Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Eurasia countries, Israel and several others want an FTA with us. We don't have enough room to do all the FTA at the moment," he added.

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