India Achieves Record Exports in Financial Year 2023-24

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

India has marked a historic milestone in its economic journey, with record-breaking exports recorded in the recently concluded financial year 2023-24, reaching a staggering USD 778 billion. This significant achievement, as reported by sources within the commerce ministry, showcases the resilience and growth potential of the Indian economy on the global stage.

Comparing the figures from the preceding financial year, where exports stood at USD 776.3 billion, the nation has demonstrated remarkable progress and competitiveness in the international market. Delving deeper into the data, it’s noteworthy that while merchandise exports experienced a marginal decline from USD 451.1 billion to USD 437.1 billion, services exports surged from USD 325.3 billion to USD 341.1 billion.

A key factor attributed to this success is the strategic measures undertaken by the government, particularly the implementation of the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme across various sectors, including electronic goods. This initiative aimed to bolster the competitiveness of Indian manufacturers, attract investments, boost exports, integrate India into global supply chains, and reduce reliance on imports. The dividends of these efforts are clearly reflected in the remarkable export figures.

India’s export growth story is not confined to domestic efforts alone. The nation has witnessed substantial increases in exports to key markets like China, Russia, Iraq, UAE, and Singapore, albeit from a comparatively low base. Additionally, countries such as the UK, Australia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, and South Africa have also contributed to India’s impressive export performance, securing positions in the top 10 list of trade partners.

Despite the surge in exports, India has also demonstrated prudence in managing its imports. Overall imports decreased from USD 898.0 billion in the previous financial year to USD 853.8 billion in 2023-24, contributing to a significant improvement in the trade deficit, which narrowed from USD 121.6 billion to USD 75.6 billion.

Analyzing the trade dynamics further, the figures from April 2024 indicate a positive start for the current financial year. Exports, encompassing both merchandise and services, rose from USD 60.40 billion to USD 64.56 billion, signaling continued growth momentum. However, imports also saw an uptick from USD 63.02 billion to USD 71.07 billion during the same period, resulting in a widening trade deficit from USD 2.62 billion to USD 6.51 billion compared to the previous year.

In terms of specific export and import categories, April witnessed notable increases in exports of electronic goods, organic and inorganic chemicals, petroleum products, and pharmaceuticals. Conversely, exports of engineering goods, iron ore, gems and jewellery, marine products, and oil meals experienced declines. On the import side, petroleum crude and products, gold, electronic goods, pulses, and vegetable oils registered increases, while imports of pearls, precious metals, precious stones, iron, and steel declined.

As India continues its journey towards economic prosperity and global prominence, the robust performance in exports underscores the nation’s resilience, competitiveness, and commitment to fostering sustainable growth in the international arena. With strategic initiatives and prudent policies, India is poised to further strengthen its position as a key player in the global trade landscape.

Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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