Exports to top $200 bn in 2008-09: India Inc

March 30th, 2008 - 10:30 am ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Leaders of Indian industry are confident of exports topping $200 billion in fiscal 2008-09 despite a strong rupee, says a survey. Indian exports have the capability to register 20 percent growth annually that would reinforce the country as a key player in the global market, but only if the government follows a stable policy, said the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) survey.

Indian industry honchos have urged the continuation of export promotion schemes such as Duty Entitlement Pass Book (DEPB), Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) and Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) in the upcoming foreign trade policy (FTP) for 2008-09.

The survey also suggested giving more power to regional and zonal offices of the directorate of foreign trade.

Some other measures suggested by the Indian corporate sector to encourage exports, despite a strong rupee and a global slowdown, are improving infrastructure, high transportation costs, poor road linkages with ports and setting a target of a maximum of 10 hours turnaround time at ports for all goods by 2010.

Another important area that needs to be looked at is sea freight, which has seen a staggering 61 percent increase in the last one year leading to exports becoming uncompetitive.

The chamber also pointed out that exporters are eagerly waiting for such a scheme to be introduced in the FTP that would seek to exempt all kinds of duties and help them obtain raw material at a cheaper rate so that Indian products can become competitive at the international markets.

“India should focus on an expanded trade basket and value added exports by moving ahead in the value chain and start focusing on manufacturing high-end products to compete in the global market,” CII said.

“There is a need for India to start concentrating on knowledge arbitrage instead of labour arbitrage - new technology, design, branding etc. - for enhancing our products and to get wider acceptability in the international market,” it added.

Another sector that needs a major thrust in terms of funding is the small and medium enterprises (SME) segment. This can prove to be extremely effective in pushing exports, the survey said.

The survey also suggested greater focus on facilitation of visa used by exporters for business purposes.

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