India's exports target this fiscal $75 billion

Thursday, 23 September 2004, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India's merchandise exports are expected to touch $75 billion in 2003-04, encouraged by a robust 26 percent growth during the first five months of this fiscal, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said Thursay.

"The challenge is to strive for sustaining the growth rate of 20 percent and above for the next five years," he told an interactive session with the Forum of Financial Writers here Thursday.

"The export growth target for the current financial year is pegged at 16 percent. But I am determined that we shall exceed this. I want it to be at least 20 percent," he added.

India's merchandise exports during 2003-04 were $61.8 billion, which represented a 17.26 percent growth over $52.7 billion during the previous fiscal.

Kamal Nath said the government would shortly notify a Special Economic Zone Act to boost investor confidence and provide stability in policy regarding these zones.

"I must also mention that three greenfield special economic zones are ready to be commissioned and these are expected to generate more than 10,000 jobs," he said.

"Similarly, the Mundra Special Economic Zone has been notified, and at present, there are 28 proposals for such zones at various stages of implementation."

Referring to the phasing out of multi-fibre agreement on textile quotas from Jan 1, next year, the minister said the changed scenario posed both challenges and offered opportunities for the domestic industry.

"The issue of capacity expansion, technology upgradation, research, development and infrastructure bottlenecks must be addressed on priority as we are to substantially increase our share in the world textile trade."

He said the government had proposed a national conference on textiles in November to discuss the scenario after the phasing out of the multi-fibre agreement.

Source: IANS
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