'Duration of Iraq war crucial to India's exports'

Monday, 31 March 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Commerce and Industry Minister Arun Jaitley said Friday that the impact of the U.S.-led war on Iraq on Indian exports would depend on the duration of the conflict.

"All depends on the duration. The length will determine what impact it will have on us," Jaitley told mediapersons on the sidelines of a foundation stone laying ceremony of the Indian Exposition Mart in Noida, near Delhi.

The minister said the country had already achieved the export target for the fiscal year ending March 31 and trend in the fiscal year 2003-04 would depend on how the Iraq war plays out.

The government has set an export growth target of 12 percent for 2002-03. In the April-December period of the current fiscal year exports grew 20.36 percent to $38.11 billion from $31.67 billion in the same period a year earlier.

The government had set a 12 percent exports growth target for the previous fiscal year but slashed it to three percent after the 2001 terror attacks on the U.S.

The country aims to boost its share of world trade to one percent by 2007 from a marginal 0.67 percent now.

Earlier, speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony of 1.70 billion Indian Exposition Mart, Jaitley said New Delhi's revenue and fiscal policy needed to be attuned to tap the export potential.

The ministry of textiles, Greater Noida Development Authority and Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts have jointly set up the mart that will promote handicrafts from all over India.

Jaitley said the mart would act as an "engine of growth" for handicrafts whose exports are expected to be double by 2010 from 100 billion in current year.

Source: IANS
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