India overcomes geopolitical headwinds; Exports surge despite Red Sea crisis

In spite of ongoing geopolitical tensions, India has achieved a 3% growth in exports, reaching US$ 36.92 billion in January 2024. The primary drivers behind this positive trend include the robust performance of the electronics, engineering goods, and pharmaceutical sectors.

Simultaneously, the country’s imports have seen a nearly 3% upswing, totalling US$ 54.41 billion in January 2024. Key contributors to this increase comprise of crude oil, electronics, coal, and gold shipments. Consequently, the trade deficit for the month stood at $17.49 billion, slightly surpassing the January 2023 figure of $17.03 billion, according to data released by the Commerce Department on Thursday.

Israr Ahmed, the President of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), emphasized that the export growth, despite challenges posed by the Red Sea crisis affecting logistics, showcases the resilience of both the sector and the exporting community. He commended exporters for their consistent performance, driving export growth and contributing to the overall economic momentum, especially in the face of challenges since the Russia-Ukraine war.

While acknowledging a marginal 4.89% dip in exports to US$ 353.92 billion during April-January in the current financial year, Ahmed pointed out a positive trend- a 6.71% reduction in import dependence to US$ 561.12 billion.

FIEO reiterated that addressing challenges from the Red Sea crisis is crucial, emphasising the need for measures such as ensuring the availability of marine insurance, maintaining a steady supply of containers, and a judicious increase in freight charges. Additionally, the sector requires easy and low-cost credit, marketing support, and the prompt conclusion of key Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) with the UK, Oman, and the EU.


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