FIEO hopeful for improvement in few months on exports front

While responding to the monthly export figures of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), President, Sharad Kumar Saraf has said that export performance will get better in next few months.

He said that August 2020 exports show similar trends as in July 2020 with a double-digit negative growth of 12.66 per cent at USD 22.70 billion.

”As the businesses and economic activities are inching towards normalcy, Saraf added that exporters have started receiving a lot of enquiries and orders from across the globe helping many sectors to show improved export performance, which is likely to get better and better in next few months,” an official statement quoted him as saying on Tuesday.

Saraf further said that the start of business activities across major economies like the US, EU, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand has also helped in bringing back the tempo to the sector.

FIEO president, however, said that integration in the global supply chain is yet another key for the revival of the exports sector. Saraf is of the view that the focus now should also be on important FTAs and multilateral agreements to further give a boost to our exports and withstand the competition coming from smaller countries like Vietnam, Bangladesh and Malaysia. Further with China seen with a sense of scepticism, this has come as an immense opportunity for India.

14 out of the 30 major product groups were in positive territory during August 2020. Saraf added that the exports during the month for emergency and essential items apart from some labour-intensive sectors including drugs & pharmaceutical, jute manufacturing including floor covering, carpet, plastics & linoleum along with some agri, plantation and meat & dairy products besides iron-ore were in positive territory showing signs of further revival with few showing impressive double-digit growth.

President FIEO also expressed his concern over yet again dip in figures from labour-intensive sectors of exports, which directly or indirectly impacts employment generation in the country. He further reiterated that there is a need to analyse imports as well, as such a steep decline in imports may hamper the industrial recovery in the coming months.

Saraf reiterated that the growing enquiries and orders from new buyers and destinations shows immense opportunity for Indian exports. Hence, there is an urgent and immediate need for a special support package for exports, which is facing huge liquidity challenges due to the stoppage of Merchandise Exports from India Scheme (MEIS) benefits and IGST refund now.

He said that creation of a long-pending demand of Export Development Fund with 1 percent corpus of the total value of exports during the last fiscal and addressing “risky exporters” issues apart from quickly deciding on RoDTEP rates are some of key concerns, which should be immediately considered to give a much-needed boost to the exports sector and the overall economy and make India a key player in the global supply chain in the years to come.