We have seen several efforts from the Government towards the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat programme’ to boost Indian exports after the negative impacts of the pandemic on the world economy. India has been seeing decent growth in its exports to its major trade partners like the US and China. India’s exports to China were up 16.15% to $20.87 billion in 2020 from previous year, due to a healthy growth in the shipment of ores, iron and steel, aluminium and copper. Total Deficit with China has also decreased. Exports from India to the United States rose by 14% in December 2020 to 4.89 billion dollars, as compared to 4.28 billion dollars in the year-ago period. Some of the positive developments including, opening of a new port, domestic manufacturing of shipping containers, trade deal with Mauritius and the Government’s intention to promote toy clusters and reduce cheap imports, have been discussed below.
The ongoing bullish trend in commodity prices and the reduced congestions due to the new major port, as well as expected decreased dependency on foreign containers and their freight charges in the future, would enhance the prospects of Indian agricultural exports. India, the world’s largest rice exporter, has also attracted good demand for the rice from the international market as supply chain remained uninterrupted during pandemic in the country after the government exempted farm activities from restrictions of the lockdown.
Indian exports expected to pick up as additional port opened (source)
India’s 5% broken par boiled variety of rice eased to $395-$401 a tonne from last week’s multi-year high of $402-$408. Indian rice exports gained momentum after an additional port was opened in the country’s biggest rice-handling facility, potentially easing congestion. Due to congestion, the waiting periods had gone up to 4 weeks as compared to about a week in normal cases. This is expected to ease the process and boost crucial exports.
Union Cabinet clears trade deal with Mauritius (source)
“It is a limited agreement which will cover trade in goods, rules of origin, trade in services, technical barriers to trade, sanitary and phytosanitary measures, dispute settlement, movement of natural persons, telecom, financial services, customs procedures and cooperation in other areas,” an official release stated. The agreement will cover 310 export items for India including food items, beverages, electrical products, telecommunication, and a variety of other items such as sea food.
India set to manufacture containers to boost exports (source)
As India aims to boost its exports, the government is looking at manufacturing containers while developing a shipping line under the Atmanirbhar Bharat programme. As plans to boost exports are being put to action in several ways, having a shortage of containers to ship would prove to be a handicap for the export industry. Until now, most exporters have been relying primarily on Chinese containers. With geopolitical issues and ongoing tensions with China, shortage of containers has hit exporters hard with the additional burden of freight cost hikes.
India holds export potential in toy sector, says commerce secretary (source)
Participating in a webinar on ”Scaling up Toy Exports from India”, Wadhawan said the government intends to promote Toy clusters through innovative and creative methods. “Toy manufacturing clusters should be developed by State Governments to attract international players to set up their manufacturing base in India,” he said. The Secretary also focussed on the promotion of toy-based tourism, local toy banks and libraries. He further said that the government will make all efforts to create a comparative environment, a level-playing field against unfair competition from cheap and substandard imports in promoting this endeavour.
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