Engineering exporters urged to focus on Latin America, CIS

March 30th, 2009 - 9:46 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, March 30 (IANS) India’s engineering industry, which saw 20 percent fall in exports this fiscal, should focus on increasing trade with the “untapped” markets in Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), a top industry leader said here Monday.
“Exports to Latin American countries have increased from $1 billion in 2006-07 to $1.15 billion in 2007-08, which proves that these markets are largely untapped,” Mahesh K. Desai, vice-chairman of engineering exporters’ apex forum EEPC India, told reporters.

“We are organising several buyer-seller meets, visits of trade delegations and exhibitions to increase our exports,” he added.

Desai said the size of India’s trade with the Latin American countries is just 10 percent of China’s trade with that continent.

He added that the CIS, composed of the former Soviet republics, also has huge potential to be tapped.

The EEPC organised an event Monday here in which the ambassadors of Argentina and Uruguay addressed the council members on the trade potential of their countries.

Speaking about the industry’s performance this fiscal, Desai said: “Against a targeted growth of 27 percent, the actual growth is only 7 percent. We expect the engineering exports to touch $36 billion as against $33.28 billion in 2007-08.”

The hard-hit sectors are auto components, castings and forgings.

At present, “40 percent of India’s engineering exports are directed towards European Union and the US”, Desai added.

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