India’s merchandise exports have continued with commendable growth rate by registering a remarkable growth rate of 27.59% in March 2017 to value at USD 29.23 billion as compared to USD 22.91 billion during March 2016. On the other hand, India’s merchandise imports also witnessed an expansion to USD 39.66 billion in March 2017 as compared to USD 27.31 billion during the same period of previous year with a growth rate of 45.25%.
The cumulative value of exports for the period April-March 2016-17 stood at USD 274.64 billion as against USD 262.290 billion registering a positive growth of 4.71% over the same period last year. The Cumulative value of imports for the period April-March 2016-17 was USD 380.367 billion as against USD 381.01 billion registering a growth of (-) 0.17% over the same period last year.
The growth in exports is positive for USA (5.61%), EU (1.68%) and Japan (10.87%) but China has exhibited negative growth of (-6.20%) for January 2016 over the corresponding period of previous year as per latest WTO statistics.
The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC) has projected that India’s cotton exports will grow 3 per cent to 990,000 tonnes in the current year, with production likely to rise by 2 per cent to 5.9 million tonnes. India’s mango exports are likely to surpass last year’s level and touch 50,000 tonne mark in the ongoing fiscal, buoyed by strong demand and supply of export quality fruit, according to government body APEDA. Council for Leather Exports (CLE) has estimated that India’s leather exports will peak to USD 27 billion by 2020, from the present level of USD 5.89 billion, given proper encouragement and support. India’s import of total finished steel fell 36 per cent to 7.4 million tonnes (MT) and exports jumped 102 per cent to 8.2 MT in 2016-17.
India is speeding up the signing of a free trade agreement (FTA) with the Eurasian Economic Union, which include Belarus, Kazakhstan, Russia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. India’s trade with these countries stands at about $10 billion. India stands to gain from the pact with Eurasia, as its imports from these countries are greater than its exports to them. An Online Portal for facilitating trade between India and Iran was launched by Department of Commerce in the presence of Ambassador of Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Khaleel Rahim, CMD, STC, and other Directors of STC. The Hind-Iran portal (hindirantrade.org) is a joint initiative of STC and Douman Queshm, Iran.
India has raised a trade dispute against its own compliance measures at the World Trade Organization (WTO) after the US refused to accept the steps adopted by New Delhi for terminating the health-related curbs imposed on American chicken and chicken products due to bird flu. Amid growing resistance to its proposal for trade facilitation in services (TFS) agreement, India will soon seek a meeting of the special session of council for trade in services under the World Trade Organization (WTO) to kickstart formal negotiations at the multilateral forum. Like the trade facilitation agreement (TFA) in goods trade.