The Ministry of Commerce has taken action in response to the continuous contraction of the country’s outbound shipments, convening a meeting of exporters on Monday, an official announced. The exporters are expected to raise several concerns during the meeting, including the need for increased support to participate in global exhibitions and fairs. They will also emphasise the importance of expediting negotiations for free trade agreements with the United Kingdom, Canada, Israel, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Additionally, they will advocate for allowing double-weighted deductions on salary expenses for professionals in the industry, as a means to retain talent in India.
In May, exports experienced a decline of 10.3 percent year-on-year, amounting to $34.98 billion, marking the fourth consecutive month of contraction. Moreover, the trade deficit reached a five-month high of $22.12 billion, based on data provided by the ministry. During the first two months of the fiscal year (April-May), exports contracted by 11.41 percent, totaling $69.72 billion, while imports decreased by 10.24 percent, amounting to $107 billion.
The decline in demand from major markets, coupled with high inflation in developed economies, as well as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, have negatively impacted the country’s exports. Naren Goenka, Chairman of the Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC), expressed the belief that increased government support, particularly regarding global exhibitions, would be instrumental in boosting exports.