Government targets $500-bn exports by 2014

The commerce and industry ministry has set a target of achieving $500-billion exports by 2013-14 by strategising the country’s foreign trade through diversification of products and markets and technological enhancement.

It floated a strategy paper for this purpose where it had recommended certain specific areas such as skill development, focus on research and development and channelising incentives in a proper manner.

On March 23, the government had floated a discussion paper to obtain stakeholders on doubling the country’s exports from $246 billion in 2010-11. The final strategy paper was released here on Tuesday, with wide range of suggestions and recommendations on mixing policy instruments with fiscal incentives.

“To achieve this target, we will have to work in close cooperation with all the ministries, as our strategy will be to build on our strength in sectors with great growth potential, promote light manufacturing exports with high-value addition and encourage employment in labour-intensive sectors,” minister of commerce and industry Anand Sharma said while releasing the strategy paper here on Tuesday.

The ministry had set sector-wise targets in the strategy sector by identifying problem areas specific to each sector and how each would be incentivsed. The thrust would remain on high technology exports such as engineering, electronics, automobiles, drugs and pharmaceuticals, computer and software-based smart engineering, green technology products and aerospace.

The 80-page strategy paper also dealt with diversification of markets with greater foray into newer markets by exporters with a wide-range of products. “We will continue to provide incentives for newer markets. But that does not mean we will be shifting our attention from the traditional markets and move up the value chain,” Sharma said.

Commerce secretary Rahul Khullar said a compound average growth of 26.7 per cent per annum was needed to double exports.

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