Brno (Czech Republic): Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Monday expressed hope that India's exports will rebound by October as steps taken by EU and the US are likely to yield results.
India's exports in July contracted 14.8 percent, the steepest fall in three years, to USD 22.4 billion, mainly due to the demand slowdown in the US and Europe.
Stating that July figures were of concern to the government, Sharma said: "We were expecting a downturn but not that drop. I hope we will improve and by Autumn, the October numbers should start looking good and thereafter we will only move upwards in positive territory," Sharma told reporters after inaugurating India Show here.
The five-day India Show is being jointly organised by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) India.
When asked if India would be able to meet the export target of USD 360 billion in 2012-13 fiscal year, he said "I am not getting into that because I cannot make that forecast today. We have to see how other economies perform".
He, however, added that "we hope that sustained efforts made by the European Central Bank (ECB) and the European Commission would yield some positive results. The situation is not as bad as it was threatening to be few months ago".
On the US -- a major export destination for India -- Sharma said the American economy is "firmly in positive territory .... That would help (India export)".
Talking about the economic relationship between India and Czech Republic, Sharma said collaboration in sectors like mining and power generation is mutually rewarding for both the countries.
Sharma said that collaboration with Czech companies would also help in refurbishing and revamping equipment in companies like HEC and BHEL.
India-Czech Republic trade increased to USD 1.5 billion in 2011, up from USD 1.36 billion a year ago.
Referring to investments made by India in Czech Republic and vice-versa, Sharma said the five-day India Show at Brno will provide further boost for such mutual economic engagements, particularly, in engineering and related industries.
Expansion in intra-industry trade, joint ventures and technical collaborations could be the instruments paving the way for such economic co-operation, he said.
About 135 companies belonging primarily to India's engineering sector are participating in the India Show.
EEPC said these companies represent the entire scale of our manufacturing encompassing large, medium and the small scale sectors.
India's engineering sector accounts for 3 percent of its GDP and represents nearly 27 percent of total industrial factories in the organised sector.
Indian companies which have invested in Czech Republic include Infosys, Ashok Leyland, Tata Tea, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, Lloyd Group and Lloyd Electric and Engineering Ltd.
From the Czech side, following on the original investments of Skoda Auto, Skoda Power and Tatra, there are a number of new and prospective Czech investment projects in India in the machinery, transportation, power and automotive sectors.