By Devanshee Dave
As per Maersk’s freight forwarding company Damco, India’s exports of retail and lifestyle products were marked by a 16 percent growth during 2017. In the run of exports, India has overtaken China and has gained 3rd position for retail and lifestyle exports. However, it is still behind Vietnam and Cambodia, meaning that India has a long way to go before it reaches the top.
The positive performance
India’s growth in the retail and lifestyle segment has been on the rise for the past two financial years. Following its positive performance, India has become a hot favourite among the big traders, globally.
As per Vishal Sharam, CEO of Damco (India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka regions), the number of shippers for exports of retail and lifestyle products was 1,500 in 2016, which had increased to 1,700 in 2017. In addition to that, the number of sourcing cities in India had also soared to 90 from 70.
India’s exports in this sector have boomed by around seven percent in North America and two percent in Europe. Along with that, new markets like Turkey and Thailand have also increased their sourcing from India in 2017.
The rise in the exports has benefited many Indian states, like Rajasthan, in which the overall exports of retail and lifestyle products have a contribution of 45 percent, followed by Uttar Pradesh at 21 percent. It was observed that exports from these states were largely sent to the US. Along with this, states such as Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat dominated the exports to Europe.
Reason for the rise in exports
Damco stated that “Driven largely by the increasing demand for locally-made home goods and children’s toys in North America, India’s exports have steadily gained popularity in many countries across the world because of a high-quality proposition which combines superior products, shorter lead time and scalability among local manufacturers.”
In addition, India’s logistics management system has also improved and is growing at a good pace due to the continuous inflow of investments by the Government and private players. All these factors have helped India attract new foreign markets to import products from and has thus helped in diversifying its partner base.
As a result of this, India’s export chain is continuously improving and booming. “While on one hand, it diversifies our risks, on the other hand, it also opens new opportunities for local businesses to explore newer markets that can, in turn, lead to increased local manufacturing, greater innovation and better monetary prospects,” said a Damco official.
As per the report, from all the commodities that were exported to other nations, home-made goods and children’s toys contributed towards the highest growth of 39 percent and 33 percent respectively. However, not all products saw a similar rise in demand. Other commodities like Indian-made apparel and footwear had registered a reduction in growth by seven percent and one percent respectively.
As per the Indian government’s target, the share of exports in the Indian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is set to be 40 percent by 2025, from the current level of 18 percent. India is Asia’s third-largest economy and has a good share of exports in many commodities. So, it is very crucial to see how the government manages to achieve the target amidst these difficulties.
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