Global protectionism, poor logistics holding back Indian exports: Experts

      01/10/2019

Global protectionism measures and inefficient logistics in the country have resulted in lower exports from India, experts and industry leaders said here on Wednesday.

Drawing attention towards India's share in global exports, Puneet Dalmia, the Dalmia Bharat Group Managing Director, said that India is the 6th largest economy but its share in the global export is just 1.7 per cent.

He was speaking at an event organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

"Our share of global exports was 1.5 per cent in 2013 and only 1.7 per cent in 2017..." Dalmia said.

Although he described the growth in exports as "significant" for a four-year period, he noted that on absolute basis India's share in global exports is still less than 2 per cent.

He observed that with the looming trade war and the "my nation first policy" adopted by many countries in the last couple of years has created challenges that India Inc has never faced before.

Speaking on the same lines, Rajat Kathuria, Director and Chief Executive, ICRIER (Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations), said: "Global evidence suggests that no country has been able to become a competitive powerhouse by just focussing on the domestic markets."

In order to be competitive, India has to gain a bigger share of the global markets, he said, adding that the recent depreciation of the Indian currency also did not work in the favour of exports.

"In the last few months we have seen the rupee depreciate and hovering around 70 (per dollar) but we did not see the exports picking up...," said Kathuria.

"This suggests two things to me, one that depreciation or revaluation is one instrument, but not sufficient to promote manufacturing export, and two that we are facing extremely difficult global markets."

Kathuria pointed logistics as another reason for lagging in the exports market.

"If you look at India's logistics cost to the GDP...it is 15 per cent, among the highest in the world, while countries like Japan and Korea have it below 10 per cent," he said.