Last updated: Sep, 2021
India’s GDP growth rate before 1991 was 3.5%. This was associated with export contribution of ~4.5%. Trade liberalisation reforms increased GDP growth rate (to >6%) after 1991, with exports contributing >11% to the GDP. Thus, international trade emerged as a viable engine for economic growth in India.
Most of this export-led growth in the GDP can be attributed to free-trade policies, rise in public spending, favourable taxation policies, growth in private investments and reforms in the financial sector that increased FDI inflow. Contribution of exports to India’s GDP stood at 31.5% in 2018-19 and recorded marginal decline to 27.8% in 2019-20.
In real value terms, India’s foreign trade was worth Rs. 75,751 crore (US$ 10.2 billion) in 1990-91. The total value of foreign trade gradually increased to Rs. 374,624 crore (US$ 50.4 billion) in 1999-2000 and then surged to Rs. 5,902,401 crore (US$ 795.2 billion) in 2018–19, as per the Economic Survey of India 2019–20. The total value of merchandise exports from India amounted to Rs. 2,396,337 crore (US$ 323 billion) in 2018-19.
Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.