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April 2024 exports show positive growth, however continued buoyant order bookings remains the key for its renewed growth : FIEO President

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NEW DELHI : Reacting to the April, 2024 merchandise export figures, FIEO President, Mr Ashwani Kumar said that starting the new financial year 2024-25 on a positive note with US$ 34.99 billion and growth of over 1% compared to US$ 34.62 billion of April 2023 is good sign even during such challenging times. This not only shows the determination of the resilient exports sector but also efforts and hard work, which the exporting community is putting together. The ongoing Russia-Ukraine war coupled with various major geo-political tensions including the Red Sea crisis and Israel-Hamas conflict has also made the international trade scenario much tougher for the Indian exporters, added Mr Kumar. We further hope that exports will start showing better growth numbers with improved demand in the European Union, UK, West Asia and the US, which has given boost to the order bookings by over 10 % and has come as sign of recovery for labour-intensive sectors of exports including Leather & Leather products, Footwear and Apparels. With fresh orders also expected to show some positive beginning, FIEO President Mr Kumar reiterated that tariff war between US and China may come as an opportunity for the country’s exports sector.

FIEO Chief said that key sectors which have shown positive growth during the month of April 2024, include electronic goods, drugs & pharmaceuticals, organic & inorganic chemicals, petroleum products, plastics & linoleum, cotton yarn/fabs./made-ups, handloom products etc., spices, cereal preparations & miscellaneous processed items, tea, coffee, tobacco, carpet and handicrafts excl. handmade carpet. Overall exports of (goods and services) increased to US$ 64.56 billion during the month from US$ 60.40 billion in April 2023. While the overall imports increased to US$ 71.07 billion compared to US$ 63.03 billion in April 2023 increasing the trade deficit to US$ 6.51 billion compared to US$ 2.62 billion of April 2023, said FIEO President. Mr Kumar also added that though there is increase in imports mainly due to petroleum products, gold, pulses and vegetable oil but the increase in petroleum products and gold import will lead to increase in exports of petroleum products and gems & jewellery with a time lag.

FIEO President, Mr Ashwani Kumar further reiterated that the need of the hour is to take steps on the liquidity front with deeper interest subvention support and continuation of interest equalisation scheme. Besides, addressing the Middle East geopolitical situation, Red Sea crisis challenges by ensuring availability of marine insurance and rationale increase in freight charges. The sector also needs easy & low cost of credit, marketing support and conclusion of some of the key FTAs with UK, Peru and Oman soon.

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