India should exploit robust world trade growth in 2018: EEPC

Kolkata: India should capitalise on the robust growth in world trade expected in 2018, but needs to exercise caution on increasing protectionism in the top economies, the Engineering Exports Promotion Council has said.

The apex engineering exporters body will work actively with the commerce ministry to engage with the US, Britain and the EU to sort out any policy issues that may act as “barriers” to Indian exports, new EEPC India Chairman Ravi P Sehgal said.

“Global trade is heading into a boom, as we usher in 2018 which promises to be full of opportunities and growth for the Indian exporters, making it imperative to add competitive pricing and technological strength to our exports,” he was quoted as saying in a release issued by EEPC India.

Sehgal said according to the IMF, global trade has grown at a faster clip than the overall world output growth, as the US, Eurozone, Japan and China are witnessing a resurgence in economic activity. All these markets are very important destinations for Indian exports, the release said.

On concerns relating to GST refunds, Sehgal said he would seek cooperation and support from the finance ministry to immediately resolve exporters’ issues relating to piling up of refunds.

“We have to ensure that our exporters should not miss out any global opportunity for the sake of cash flow. This is possible only when the GST glitches are removed,” he said.

The engineering exporters body added that the cumulative value of Indian exports for the April-November period of fiscal 2017-18 was USD 196.48 billion as against USD 175.41 billion a year ago, posting a rise of 12.01 per cent.

Growth in November was even more impressive at 30 per cent, while engineering exports increased by over 43 per cent during the month, the release said.