India Aims to Double Outbound Shipments, Boosting Trade Infrastructure

India’s merchandise exports saw a slight downturn in the fiscal year 2023-24, dipping by over 3 percent to USD 437 billion. In contrast, imports saw a sharper decline of 5.7 percent to USD 675.4 billion. In response to these figures, the Ministry is setting ambitious targets, aiming to more than double the country’s outbound shipments of goods by 2030.

Infrastructure and Logistics Drive Export Growth: A senior official stated that to achieve the goal of doubling exports, there is a need for additional infrastructure and logistics capacity at key transport hubs, including roads, ports, airports, and railways. The aim is to handle a projected trade volume of USD 2.5 trillion that encompasses both exports and imports.

Synchronized Infrastructure Development is Key: It is crucial to note the correlation between higher exports and imports, which underscores the necessity of synchronized infrastructure development. Simply increasing capacity is not enough; it is equally important to identify industry clusters where the movement of goods is expected to be significant. The ministry is anticipating a comprehensive report elaborating on these requirements around August-September. Once the report is received, the commerce ministry plans to collaborate with relevant ministries such as shipping, aviation, roads, and railways to assess the investment needs for capacity development.

Preliminary Estimates Suggest Substantial Increase in Infrastructure: Preliminary estimates from the study indicate a substantial increase in infrastructure requirements. This includes additional capacity for ports, railways, and airports. It is essential to identify specific infrastructure needs at exit points and pinpoint clusters where goods movement will be most significant.

Key Sectors and Clusters driving Export Growth: The sectors expected to drive India’s export growth are electronics, pharmaceuticals, marine products, and engineering. Notable clusters for these industries include: – Chennai Sriperumbudur and Bengaluru Sri city for electronics. – Gujarat, Odisha, and West Bengal for marine products. – Baddi in Himachal Pradesh and Sikkim for pharmaceuticals.

The Importance of Thorough Assessment and Planning: Officials emphasize the importance of thorough assessment and planning, considering the significant surge in goods movement anticipated in the future. This includes evaluating the need for additional infrastructure, such as internal container depots (ICDs), to accommodate the expected rise in trade volume.

India’s Ambition as a Global Trade Powerhouse: India’s strategic push to revamp infrastructure aligns with its ambition to become a global trade powerhouse. By fostering an enabling environment for robust merchandise exports in the coming years, India is focused on strengthening its position in the global trading arena.

Aayush Kukreja Apart from being a literature student and a theatre practitioner, Aayush is a daydreamer! He loves poetry and just as a poet should be, he’s witty, opinionated and completely clueless about life. Reach out to him anytime for some good old sher-o-shayari. Here, he writes about the quirkiest and the most interesting of things. To the rhythm of life and words, cheers!
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