India achieves $400 billion merchandise exports target

India has achieved the $400 billion merchandise exports target well before the stipulated deadline, said Union Minister of Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Piyush Goyal.

The merchandise exports from India crossed the $400 billion-mark in the current financial year, that too 9 days ahead of schedule. The previous record high for exports stood at $330 billion achieved in 2018-19.

At a press conference, the Minister said that there was a detailed strategy in place which led to the achievement of the export target. The strategy included specific target sets such as - country-wise, product-wise and 'EPC'-wise - monitoring as well as course correction.

The target of $400 billion of merchandise exports for 2021-22 was set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He had exhorted the exporting community to search for new products in the export basket, look for newer destinations and ensure deeper penetration of the existing product and markets.

"Thus, in order to achieve the target and approach set by the PM, the Department of Commerce disaggregated the $400 billion target in terms of regions and countries as well as product or commodity groups. The government prepared a detailed strategy for achieving the targets and an elaborate monitoring system," the ministry said.

"The disaggregated targets have enabled tight monitoring by 'Country or Region or Mission or Export Promotion Councils."

Notwithstanding the challenges posed by successive waves of Covid, India's merchandise trade performance has shown impressive growth and exports remained above $30 Billion for eleven consecutive months during April to February wherein December 2021 in particular recorded the highest ever monthly merchandise exports recorded at $39.3 billion.

Segment-wise, engineering goods exports have gone up by nearly 50 per cent vis-a-vis last year. "Higher engineering exports, apparel and garment export, etc indicate that the misconception of India being a major exporter of primary commodities is gradually changing. We are now exporting more and more value added and high end exports and this effort by our technology driven industries should continue."

"Export of 'Cotton Yarn or Fabrics or Made-ups', Handloom Products etc, Gems and Jewellery, Other Cereals and 'Man-Made Yarn or Fabrics or Made-up' etc, have registered a growth rate between 50-60 per cent."

As per the ministry, the agriculture sector made noteworthy progress, especially during the pandemic, with India emerging as a major global supplier of food or essential agriculture products.

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