Foreign Trade Policy sets $200 bln export target for 2008-09

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New Delhi, Apr 11 (UNI) The Annual Supplement to Foreign Trade Policy today substantially hiked the export target to 200 billion dollars for the current fiscal, notwithstanding the continuing appreciation of rupee, high interest rates, spiralling oil prices and general international economic slowdown.

Unveiling the policy, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath said despite all such odds exporters have shown great resilience.

Exports for 2007-08 fiscal exceeded 155 billion dollars, the Minister said.

Mr Kamal Nath also took note of the fact that some countries had withdrawn GSP benefits to India, adding to the woes of the exporters.

Exports saw a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 23 per cent and accounted for 1.5 per cent of the world's trade. India's CAGR was way ahead of the average growth rate of international trade.

Mr Nath said India should be able to garner five per cent share in global trade by 2020.

Mr Nath claimed that the new Foreign Trade Policy (2004-09) has more than doubled India's exports in the last four years.

The Minister said exports are not just about earning foreign exchange, but about boosting manufacturing sector, creating large scale economic activities and generating employment opportunities.

While the PHD Chamber of Commerce said the quantum leap achieved by Indian merchandise trade during the last four years was reflective of the maturity of the economy, ASSOCHAM President V N Dhoot said the export target of 200 billion dollars in 2008-09 was ''too ambitious and difficult to achieve'' in view of the global slowdown.

UNI GS MP VC1804

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