Exports may pick up by year-end: Anand Sharma

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New Delhi, Nov. 14 (ANI): Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Saturday expressed optimism over Indian exports picking up by the end of this year.

Exports in September fell 13.8 percent.

Addressing delegates on the commencement of the 29th India International Trade Fair (IITF) at Pragati Maidan in the national capital, Sharma said: "We hope that as we move towards the close of this year, our exports, which have been falling for 12 months, have started turning round. I do remain optimistic that the measures that we have taken will help us in closing the gap by the end of this year."

"We have already moved up from down close to 40 percent in the negative growth of Indian exports to 11 percent last month and in the last quarter of this financial year. I am confident that we will move to the positive growth in our trade with the world," Sharma added.

President Pratibha Devisingh Patil inaugurated the 29th IITF earlier and, on this occasion, expressed hope about India becoming an investment destination.

"There are indicators of economic advantages that can be leveraged by the world ...for engaging with India as we expand our infrastructure, there will be opportunities of over 550 billion dollar to be invested in India over the period of the next five years," Patil said.

The fair, which will see about 7,500 domestic and overseas exhibitors from 29 countries, has been organised by the Indian Trade Promotion Organisation to provide a platform for trade promotion. The fair also promotes interaction between national and international buyers.

Meanwhile, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad inaugurated the pavilion of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare at the India International Trade Fair (IITF), Pragati Maidan here. During the Trade Fair every year, the Ministry showcases a particular theme at the Health Pavilion.

Theme this year is 'Swasth Gram-Swasth Rashtra'. (ANI)

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