Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal said on Thursday that the ongoing trade disputes between the United States and China offer a window of opportunity for Indian manufacturers to make a mark in export markets.
"We have a trade surplus of $17 billion with the United States and a trade deficit of $53 billion with China. India needs to work on its strengths by exploring market access for agriculture and pharma products in different regions," he said while addressing the second meeting of the Board of Trade.
Mr Goyal said there has not been much growth in exports this year and this is not satisfactory. There is a need for transforming each district of India into an export hub, he said while urging policymakers from states to identify and take adequate measures.
Total exports out of India crossed the half-trillion-dollar mark at $537 billion in 2018-19 with goods exports at an all-time high of $331 billion and services exports at $205 billion.
"India will have to achieve one trillion dollars of exports in the next five years. For this, we need to increase domestic production and improve our competitiveness," said Mr Goyal.
Simultaneously, both the centre and the state governments will have to take measures for further improving ease of doing business, decrease logistics cost and simplify regulatory procedures, he said.
The government will soon come up with a credit scheme for exporters with enhanced insurance cover up to 90 per cent instead of the present 60 per cent, said the minister.
Mr Goyal said the proposed merger of 10 public sector banks (PSBs) will enable them to disburse enhanced credit, increase their risk appetite and raise resources from the market.
He said about Rs 70,000 crore will be released to PSBs upfront and additional lending and liquidity to the tune of Rs 5 lakh crore that will benefit corporate, retail borrowers, MSMEs, small traders, and exporters.
Mr Goyal was accompanied by junior ministers Hardeep Singh Puri and Som Parkash at the meeting in which the Board of Trade and the Council for Trade Development and Promotion were merged.
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