'Indian export has to focus on Pakistan, GCC countries'

'Indian export has to focus on Pakistan, GCC countries'

“To achieve a big leap in export, India should resume trade links with Pakistan which has enormous potential and has to focus more on GCC countries.

As International Monetary Fund (IMF) has forecast three to four per cent growth rate to India, there is silver line ahead,” said Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Southern Regional Chairman Walter D'Souza.

He was delivering the inaugural address at the export awareness programme organised by The Visveshvaraya Trade Promotion Centre (VTPC) (Bangalore) in collaboration with Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), District Industries Centre, Yeyyadi, Mangalore at KCCI hall in Mangalore on Thursday.

D'Souza stressed that to achieve the targeted figure of 15 per cent export growth, the country has to focus on GCC countries where, currently India's growth rate is 16 per cent.

"We can enhance it to 25 per cent. Also, opening up the snapped trade links with Pakistan will trigger a quantum jump in terms of export.

Our products are very much in demand in the neighbouring country, especially items like cashew and leather.

FIEO has appealed to the new government to accord the Most Favoured Nation status to Pakistan which will be a huge fillip in trade activities," D'Souza elaborated.

5.26 pc growth in April

D'Souza said that the first month of the new fiscal, April 2014, has registered 25.63 billion US dollar worth export, an increase of 5.26 per cent compared to April 2013, which is a healthy sign.

In 2012-13, we have achieved 3.98 per cent growth in terms of mercantile export ie., 312 billion US dollar worth export though, the set target was 325 billion dollars.

He also expressed hope that India's share in the global export trade, 1.7 per cent, would reach the targeted 2 per cent figure in future.

D'Souza termed the growth in traffic of containers as phenomenon as it took a big leap from 9,000 TEUs per annum in 1999 to the current figure, 50,000 TEUs per annum.

‘Create Infrastructure’

Referring to Mangalore, FIEO Southern Regional Chairman felt that we have to build more infrastructure in the port city to boost exports.

"As the Chennai port can handle more containers at a time, it would cost only 95 US dollar in terms of transportation whereas for the same cargo, it would be 500 dollars in Mangalore for the lack of infrastructure.

The major exports through ports are taking place through Chennai, Kochi and Tuticorin.

Mangalore has to bring those business here," he pointed.

VTPC Deputy Director (Bangalore) Mohammed Ateikula Sharief said that to create awareness among exporters, the state government will be organising a comprehensive six day workshop in Mangalore next month including all the stakeholders concerned.

District Industries Centre Joint Director S J Hegde and KCCI Secretary Rammohan Pai Maroor among others spoke.