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Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh emerge as major destinations for India's engineering exports

Economic Times:  April, 2016

Kolkata: Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh have emerged as the major destinations for India's engineering exports together accounting for a sizeable chunk of $ 5.17 billion , necessitating increased policy priorities to the neighbouring three countries , an EEPC analysis has pointed out.

Though the shipments to the neighbouring countries have also dropped significantly in value terms, the trend is in line with the rest of the global markets which are witnessing new lows thanks mainly to a prolonged meltdown in prices of commodities and metals.

Despite the drop in values, Sri Lanka itself occupies the third most important space in Indian engineering exports. After the US and UAE, Sri Lanka gave the next best markets to the Indian shipments with $2.63 billion during April-February period of the fiscal 2015-16, the EEPC paper noted. The US market was at the top with $6.31 billion billing and the UAE at $3.8 billion for the period.

" The global trade has been going through a major crisis like situation with demand slowdown across different segments . Still, the neighbouring markets which are also members of the SAARC trade regime, have been contributing a significant chunk to the engineering exports. While differential trade regime is in prevalence for these countries, a lot more emphasis needs to be given to Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh. In fact, these countries are a low hanging fruits for us, when the going is tough," Chairman of the EEPC India Mr T S Bhasin said.

He said in certain segments like iron and steel, the neighbouring nations dominate the shipments. For instance, in steel, Nepal tops the list importing 8.4 per cent of India's total export in these products during April- February 2015-16. It imported $426 million during the period, way up other major markets including the US and China.

In the entire engineering pack, Nepal accounted for $1.2 billion while Bangladesh $1.3 billion for the period under review.

Cumulative engineering exports from India conceded 17.33 percent fall during April2015 -February 2016 to $53.68 billion from $64.94 billion during the same period of the previous fiscal.

The growth rate in the top 25 countries during April-February 2015-16, taken together recorded fall in exports by 18.1percent which is more than the fall in India's total engineering exports by 17.4 per cent.