Millennium Post

We are focusing on 12 to 13 sectors with competitive edge to boost exports: Goyal

New Delhi: Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday said they are focusing on 12-13 sectors such as textiles where India has a competitive edge to boost exports.

He said that exports grow when there is both comparative and competitive edge on different sectors.

"We are now focusing our energies on about 12 or 13 sectors, where we believe India has a competitive edge, to be able to export more," Goyal said.

Citing an example of man-made textiles, he said the government is putting attention as over the years, India has always focused on cotton textiles, whereas the world has moved on to man-made textiles.

"We have now brought our attention to see how we can have an orderly growth of man-made textiles industry," he said.

Goyal said he has told the textiles sector people that it has the potential to increase exports to $100 billion in the next 10 years from the current level of about $37 billion.

"So, we are working in a very focused manner," he said, adding services sector exports are recording healthy growth rates.

India's exports dropped by 1.8 per cent to $27.36 billion in December 2019, the fifth straight month of contraction, on account of a significant fall in shipments of plastic, gems and jewellery, leather products and chemicals. During April-December 2019-20, exports were down 1.96 per cent at $239.29 billion while imports contracted by 8.9 per cent to $357.39 billion. When asked why India is entering into the phase of protectionism, the commerce minister said protection is necessary where the country has domestic capacity.

He said that such practices also become evident when there is an unfair competition or high domestic cost of production.

"Also we are conscious that some countries give subsidies both open and opaque, due to which import sometimes become very attractive and therefore certain degree of protection is required for our domestic industry," he said.

The government has raised import duties on several products in the Budget and has also imposed import restrictions.

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