Export outlook optimistic, says Sharma
Mumbai: Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today expressed optimism that the recent pick-up in exports will continue through the rest of the financial year despite the global slowdown.
"The export performance will be better going forward despite the global slowdown," Sharma told members of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation (Fieo) here after inaugurating its new office in Mumbai.
On the GDP numbers reported yesterday, the worst since the 2008 global recession, he said, "Regardless of GDP numbers released yesterday, I am confident that the growth will not be less than 5.5 per cent this fiscal."
Admitting that the economy is facing strong headwinds, he said the fundamentals remain strong.
The minister also defended the government and RBI measures to curb gold imports to address the current account deficit. "We import oil. Since it is an energy requirement, we have little scope to reduce imports. So we need to look at other options," he said.
Commerce secretary S R Rao said that exports in July witnessed 12 per cent growth and imports too have significantly come down. The August figures also show double digit growth and he was upbeat on the remaining second half of FY 14, Rao said.
Rao pointed out that the agri exports are expected to be 25 percent higher due to good monsoon this year.
Fieo members expressed confidence of touching USD 325 billion mark this fiscal against the USD 303 billion last year.