The Ministry of Commerce and Industry today issued a discussion paper to achieve merchandise exports worth $450 billion in the next three years through greater market diversification, research and development and a thrust towards brand promotion.
“The reason of taking this initiative is because of widening the balance of trade. We hope to close that and bring the disbalance in trade to below 10 per cent or 9 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP),” commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said, adding that the widening balance of trade as a percentage of GDP was a cause for concern. The minister also indicated that exports for the present financial year was estimated to reach $225 billion against the set target of $200 billion.
“To realise the goal of $450 billion, exports have to grow at a compound average growth of 26 per cent per annum. We are giving a month’s time to the stakeholders to get back to us. All the comments received will be collated and a final strategy will be made by March 31,” said commerce secretary Rahul Khullar, adding that the final inputs would be inducted during the review of the Foreign Trade Policy of 2009-2014.
According to the strategy statement issued by the ministry, there is a need to strengthen the inherent qualities of certain industries such as engineering and chemicals. It also suggested methods to enhance research and development in the pharmaceutical industry.