Diversification of exports and consolidating current areas of strength is necessary for our economy to grow: Piyush Goyal

New Delhi: Shri Piyush Goyal, Union Minister for Commerce & Industry and Railways, said that the future of growth lay with industry and the private sector, with the government having a lesser role to play. The Minister was speaking at the Inaugural Session of the Confederation of Indian Industry’s (CII) Digital Summit on Exports with EXIM Bank of India as the Institutional Partner.

The Minister identified three important methods to increase India’s exports; reviving manufacturing, diversifying the exports basket, and finding newer and more accepting markets. He emphasised that the diversification of exports, in addition to consolidating current areas of strength is necessary for our economy to grow. He stated that India has a huge opportunity to promote indigenous production in auto component sector, furniture, air conditioners, and others. MeitY is promoting electronics production, in pharma we are encouraging API manufacturing. Similarly, in the agri export sector the opportunity is huge, he mentioned.

Shri Goyal congratulated CII on completing 125 years and the launch of the Taskforce on Enhancing Exports through integration into the Global Value Chains (GVCs). He committed to working closely with the Taskforce and take action where necessary for the benefit of industry, and the country. Atma Nirbhar Bharat, he said, is not just about greater self-reliance, but also engaging with the world from a position of strength.

Mr. Amit Yadav, Director General of Foreign Trade, speaking at an earlier session, noted that we have misaligned our export priorities, where 70% of India’s exports are in raw materials which is only 30% of global product demand. Only 30% of our exports are in electronics which make 70% of global demand. India’s share in this is 0.7%. He emphasised that we need state as well as district level export policies and action plans going forward.

Mr. P Harish, Additional Secretary – ER, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, stated that the pandemic has caused major supply chain disruptions which will cause localisation of production of essential commodities, at least in the short term.

Mr. David Rasquinha, Managing Director, EXIM Bank of India, said that the COVID 19 pandemic has proved that we cannot be over dependent on any single source for managing supply chains. In this context, the schemes announced by the government of India recently to boost private sector investment in infrastructure and the social sector are welcome.

Mr. Sanjay Budhia, Chairman, CII National Committee on EXIM and Managing Director, Patton International Ltd., emphasised the need to reduce costs of production which includes costs of certificates of standards compliance as well as the requirement for a single regulator for shipping.

Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, said that we must carry out all reforms necessary to overhaul our exports and this is the right time to roll them out. Trade logistics, compliance with quality standards, seamless functioning of GVCs, and a robust strategy to leverage FTAs would be key, he said.