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On Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India had achieved its goal of $400 billion in exports for the first time, boosted by an increase in shipments of engineering items, clothing and garments, gems and jewellery, and petroleum products.
The goal was met with ten days to spare: exports surpassed $400.8 billion on March 21, and overall exports for the fiscal year are expected to surpass $410 billion by the end of the month.
In the pre-pandemic fiscal year of 2018-19, exports totaled $331.02 billion. During the month of March, shipments climbed by $25.19 billion, bringing the overall tally to $410 billion by March 31.
India's capacity to meet its export targets has not been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic or global uncertainty following the Ukraine conflict, according to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal.
Mr. Goyal commented on the development, saying that the increase in exports will likely strengthen India's position in ongoing negotiations for Free Trading Agreements (FTAs) with a number of trade partners.
Mr. Goyal called the development a "Made in India blockbuster" and a "collective show of strength," noting that the agriculture sector had also produced its highest-ever exports during 2021-22, thanks to exports of "rice, marine products, wheat, spices, and sugar."
Mr. Goyal expressed his gratitude to "Team India" for their accomplishment by quoting, “A country which is self-confident, which provides for its needs where people respect domestically made products — and we are able to work with the rest of the world from a position of strength and are able to take on challenges of all sorts and compete on the strength of our farmers who toil day and night to produce truly exotic and wonderful fruits and vegetables and our fishermen who go out into the sea... it’s truly a time for all of us to reflect on our strengths and our future.”
The success, according to the Minister, was due to collaboration between the government, industry, and several Ministries, including the diplomatic branch. He claimed that Indian embassies and envoys had looked at fresh chances around the world to aid in the achievement of the goal.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the industrialists, farmers, and weavers for attaining the "first time ever" development.
The Prime Minister also shared infographics depicting India surpassing its highest-ever export target nine days ahead of schedule. According to the graph, an average of $46 million in exports was made every hour.
During the fiscal year, India's imports reached a new high of over $589 billion, bringing the country's trade imbalance to a new high of $188.2 billion.
Another important element fueling the increase in exports, according to experts, is unmet global demand during the Covid-19 pandemic's big waves. In reaction to the economic impact of the pandemic, industrialised economies' expansionary monetary policy has bolstered demand for Indian commodities.
Engineering goods contributed the most to export growth, increasing by nearly 50% and predicted to reach $110 billion by the end of FY2022. Exports of electronic items increased by 42.8 percent in the first 11 months of the fiscal year, while exports of gems and jewellery increased by 57.3 percent, helped by higher gold prices.
Petroleum product exports increased by 147.6%, owing to a sustained rise in crude oil prices. Organic and inorganic chemicals, readymade clothes, meat and dairy products, as well as marine products, all saw significant increases in exports.
Further, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, “India set an ambitious target of USD 400 billion of goods exports and achieved this target for the first time ever. I congratulate our farmers, weavers, MSMEs, manufacturers, exporters for this success. This is a key milestone in our Aatmanirbhar Bharat journey.”
The achievement of $400 billion in exports, according to A Sakthivel, president of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations, was a "dream" realised, and exporters may aim for $500 billion in product exports in the following fiscal year.
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