Delhi: The country's merchandise exports are likely
to touch the $75-billion mark by March 2005 if the level
of growth witnessed so far is sustained, the union minister
for commerce and industry, Kamal Nath, said in the capital
at a meeting organised by the forum of financial
writers, Nath said all efforts were being made to
facilitate exports, especially when the merchandise exports
during April-August this year have already recorded a
26 per cent growth over the same period in the previous
challenge is to strive for sustaining the growth rate
at 20 per cent and above for the next five years while
the export target for the current financial year 2004-05
is pegged at 16 per cent. But I am determined that we
shall exceed this. I want it to be at least 20 per cent,"
minister noted that three weeks ago he had announced a
comprehensive foreign trade policy 2004-09 with a preamble
that clearly laid down the context, objectives and the
strategies to achieve the country's goals in the foreign
trade sector. The objectives were to double India's percentage
share in the global trade within the next five years and
ensure that it acts as an effective instrument of economic
growth linked to development and employment.
reiterated that "exports are vital for generation
of employment and stimulation of economic activity, especially
in the rural and semi-urban areas. An integrated approach
to economic policy linked to external trade is, therefore,
of critical importance to the health of the economy. And
the Foreign Trade Policy is an important step in this
direction." He added that the SEZ Act would be introduced
shortly to boost the confidence of investors about the
stability of the country's SEZ policy.
proposed national conference on textiles scheduled for
next month would provide useful insights into the post-MFA
scenario for India, he said.
to the WTO issues, Nath reiterated the crucial role played
by India during the negotiations in Geneva in July last,
which led to the adoption of the framework agreement.