The value of exports from special economic zones (SEZs) in the country rose 50 per cent to Rs99,689 crore during the 2008-09 financial year, against a 93 per cent jump to Rs66,638 crore in the year 2007-08 financial year.
Exports from Seas had grown 52 per cent to Rs34,615 core in the previous financial year (2006-07), Jyotiraditya M Scindia, minister of state for commerce and industry, informed the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
During the year 2008-09 total exports from SEZs grew 3.5 per cent as compared to a growth of 29.1 per cent during the previous year. The slow growth of export was primarily due to adverse impact of global slowdown on India's exports from the second half of the year, the minister stated.
Focus Market: The government, meanwhile, has taken a number of initiatives to enhance trade with other countries through various trade promotion programmes which aim to promote trade by giving market access initiatives, establishing institutional mechanisms such as Joint Trade Committees, holding fairs and exhibitions and by granting assistance to exporters to promote trade on sustained basis, the minister said.
For offsetting high freight cost and other externalities in select international markets, a new scheme called "Focus Market Scheme" has been launched since 1 April 2006. This allows exporters to get an incentive in the form of freely transferable duty credit scrip at 2.5 per cent of the FOB value of exports of such products, the minister said.
"The initiative aims at enhancing India's competitiveness for export to identified Focus Markets," he added.
To begin with, eight countries in Latin America, 49 countries in Africa, 10 countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), five countries in Central America and one country in eastern Europe were notified as Focus Markets, the minister said.