India should aim for a 5% share in global merchandise exports by 2025: CII

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India should aim for a 5% share in global merchandise exports and a 7% share in service exports by 2025, according to the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) report on Tuesday.

Currently, India has a 1.67% share in merchandise exports and a 3.54% share in service exports, the report said, suggesting a three-pronged approach to achieving this goal.

These included strengthening domestic competitiveness, developing international competitiveness and creating sector specific growth drivers.

“The pandemic situation has impacted world trade negatively. However, it also provides a big opportunity for India to better engage with the world and boost its export performance. This is an opportune time for India to strengthen its domestic manufacturing through a strong partnership between the Government and Industry”, said Chandrajit Banerjee, director general, CII.

The report proposed measures like higher duties on finished goods and lower duties on intermediate goods to improve competitiveness of Indian products and to boost exports.

Apart from releasing a foreign trade policy to establish a predictable export regime, the report recommended expanding export finance through measures like extending the Interest Equalisation Scheme (IES) for another two years for all exporters.

Introduced in 2015, the IES provided up to a 5% interest subvention on export credit to micro, small and medium enterprises in a range of sectors.

To improve trade facilitation, it suggested the use of digital tools for faster movement of goods at the border through reduced physical examination of goods, widening the Authorised Economic Operator program, and ensuring a Direct Port Delivery system.

On the infrastructure front, the report said there was need to focus on hinterland connectivity and proposed extending the Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) and integrating it with the National Infrastructure Pipeline.

With an outlay of Rs 600 crore, the TIES was launched by the commerce ministry in 2017 for a period of three years to create appropriate infrastructure for the development and growth of exports through engagement of central or state agencies.

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