Commerce department to meet exporters on Tuesday in wake of slowing exports growth

Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce and Industry
Suresh Prabhu Minister of Commerce and Industry

Senior officials of the department of commerce will meet exporters and export promotion councils on Tuesday in the wake of slowing growth of various exporting sectors.

Declining exports of labour intensive products including leather, gems and jewellery, man-made yarn, and pharmaceuticals had pulled down the overall growth of outward shipments from the country in December to 0.34% at $27.9 billion. 17 out of 30 sectors had shown a decline in exports in December.

“The meeting has been called because China is slowing down and our exports are facing a spin-off of the global trade environment. Boosting exports is a priority,” said an official in the know of the details.

The department has identified nine sectors gems and jewellery, leather, textiles, engineering, electronics, chemicals, pharma, agriculture and marine products to achieve at least a 16% growth in exports in FY 19. India’s exports were $303 billion in 2017-18.

Another person said the idea of the meeting is to have preliminary discussions before the Board of Trade meeting on February 15, which will be chaired by commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu.

The 70-member board is a top advisory body on external trade and advises the government on policy measures related to foreign trade.

Some exporters want higher incentives while others are expected to raise concerns regarding the flow of credit.

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