Govt trying to ensure regional conflicts do not impact India’s exports: Commerce Secy

With ongoing geopolitical concerns, the government of India has been actively diversifying its trade partnerships. With the escalation of the Israel-Iran conflict, India intends to further expand this diversification strategy to mitigate the risks associated with the regional conflict, said India’s Commerce Secretary, Sunil Barthwal, on Monday.

During a press conference in New Delhi, he stated that the Indian government is closely monitoring developments in West Asia and will assess their potential impacts before formulating a policy response. He stressed that India’s export portfolio is already well-diversified across various countries and reiterated the government’s commitment to intensify these efforts.

Barthwal emphasized that policy interventions would be executed after a comprehensive understanding of the challenges faced by traders. He underscored the importance of adapting strategies based on past experiences, drawing parallels to the response during the Suez Canal crisis last year.

Acknowledging that India’s merchandise exports could have performed better without trade disruptions, Barthwal highlighted that the Ministry has taken a proactive approach to exploring new markets to mitigate potential economic slowdowns resulting from conflicts.

In a presentation on Monday, the Ministry of Commerce revealed plans to tap into 14 new markets across different sectors. Specifically, three countries were identified as promising markets for electronic goods exports, 14 for engineering goods, and three for iron ore exports.

Additionally, 15 countries were identified as potential new markets for cotton yarn exports, including Georgia, Sweden, Iran, and Russia, with Brazil and Vietnam also identified as promising markets.

Barthwal further said that the ministry, after looking into the International Monetary Fund predictions for GDP growth for various countries, has identified 18 countries of significance where there would be good demand growth.

The government is also keeping a lookout at the commodity baskets and building a connection between commodities and those countries, he said, adding that the ministry would be using new tech, such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, to target countries as export destinations for Indian goods.

These initiatives reflect India’s strategic efforts to diversify its export destinations and bolster its resilience against global economic challenges and regional conflicts.

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