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Trade & Export Policy and External Sector

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Trade & Export Policy and External Sector

April, 2014


India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth is likely to expand by six per cent next financial year and by eight–nine per cent in the next three years, highlighted Mr Anand Sharma, Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

The strong ecosystem set up by the government over the last decade has seen the economy grow from US$ 500 billion to about US$ 2 trillion, and the country’s per capita income has nearly trebled in that period. India’s trade and external sector has had a significant impact in this growth.

In recent developments, Indian solar installations are forecast to be approximately 1,000 megawatt (MW) in 2014, according to Mercom Capital Group, a global clean energy communications and consulting firm.

The country has also emerged as one of the global leaders in green buildings. India has over 2,380 registered green building projects and is among the top five countries in the world involved in spearheading the global green building movement, as per Mr Bharat Kamat, Vice-Chairman of Indian Green Building council (IGBC), Goa. The building stock in India is expected to reach 100 billion sq ft from the existing 25 billion sq ft by 2030.

Capital Inflows

India's foreign exchange (Forex) reserves stood at US$ 298,635 million as on March 21, 2014. Foreign currency assets aggregated to US$ 271,394 million and the value of gold reserves stood at US$ 20,978 million, as on March 21, 2014, according to the weekly statistical data released by Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Private equity (PE) firms invested US$ 2.27 billion in the January–March quarter of 2014 compared to US$ 1.18 billion in the same quarter last year, registering an increase of 93 per cent.

To facilitate receipt of foreign inward remittances directly into the bank accounts of beneficiaries, the RBI plans to allow such remittances to be transferred to the know-your-customer (KYC) compliant beneficiary bank accounts through electronic mode.

Foreign Direct Investments (FDI)

India remains one of the top destinations for FDI, said Mr Anand Sharma, the Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Government of India. India has attracted FDI worth US$ 172.82 billion during the period 2009–13.

The total amount of FDI inflow into India (including equity inflows, ‘re-invested earnings’ and ‘other capital’) from April 2000 to January 2014 stood at US$ 318,885 million, according to data released by Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP). The cumulative amount of FDI equity inflows during April 2000 to January 2014 stood at US$ 212,031 million.

Foreign Institutional Investors (FII)

FIIs invested US$ 13.25 billion in equity market during FY 14, as per data released by Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). FIIs started the financial year on a positive note and infused more than US$ 4.33 billion in the first two months of FY 14 on the back of various reforms initiated by the Government of India.

After selling stocks through January and at the start of February 2014, foreign investors have been net buyers of Indian equities for 15 straight trading sessions. Since February 12, 2014, they have invested nearly US$ 1.1 billion into Indian stocks, helping benchmark Indian equities scale new peaks. In calendar year 2013, the Indian markets had seen FII inflows of nearly US$ 20 billion.

RBI has allowed foreign retail investors, including NRIs, to invest in rupee-denominated tax-free non-convertible bonds.