Disappointed with India's exports growth for the month of November, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on Friday said that the government needs to revisit its export strategy as some recent free trade agreements (FTAs) are encouraging imports rather than exports.
"The comprehensive economic cooperation agreements (CECA) or comprehensive economic partnership agreements (CEPA) or free trade agreements (FTA) have facilitated more imports than exports from India," FIEO president M Rafeeque Ahmed told a press conference in New Delhi.
Ahmed said, "The recent export figure points to revisiting our strategy for exploiting the markets with which we have signed FTA, CECA or CEPA."
He said, one of the reasons for lacklustre performance of Indian exports is slow penetration in the markets where India has signed CECA / CEPA or FTA in last few years.
"The idea of signing the FTAs was to increase exports, but we have not seen the benefits. We should not just sign and leave it ... we will release the potential areas that exporters can tap, something that the government should have done," Ahmed said.
India's exports to ASEAN went down to $14.66 billion in first six months of the financial year as compared to exports of $36.74 billion achieved in 2011-12. A further disaggregation of exports shows that exports to Singapore, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Thailand in April-September was much less than the pro-rata exports in the corresponding period in 2011.
The FIEO chief said that this points to a need to revisit the export strategy. He urged the government, "To start with, all such countries / regions should be put under the 'focus market scheme', or if not, then under the 'special focus market scheme'."