India’s engineering exports grew at a commendable rate of 24.15 percent to $16.94 billion during the April-June 2014 quarter but even better news lies elsewhere.
The growth was led by a strong expansion in exports of high-tech engineering products such as aircraft and spacecraft parts, and automobiles.
According to the EEPC, (formerly known as the Engineering Export Promotion Council) a body working for export promotion of engineering goods, projects and services from India, exports of aircraft and spacecraft parts went up to US $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2014-15 from the $574 million in the same period a year ago.
In second place was non-ferrous metals and metal products exports, which expanded by 36.12 percent at $1.48 billion in the first quarter.
Shipments of motor automobiles, two and three-wheelers, and parts grew 24.52 percent to $3 billion in the same period.
A major portion of the exports order for aircraft and auto components came from North America, followed by Europe and West Asia.
Underscoring the growth, EEPC India Chairman Anupam Shah said in a statement that the Q1 export trend showed India was progressing fast as a reliable source of supply for high-tech and high-value products in the immensely competitive engineering sector.
The European Union (EU) remains the largest market for India’s engineering products aggregating $2.85 billion worth of orders, with a growth of 16.59 percent for the first quarter, followed by a 72 percent increase in exports to West Asia and 73 percent in the neighboring South Asian countries.
The EEPC also revealed that India continued to receive orders from many of these markets, clearly indicating a performance turnaround in the global economy.
India’s exports of high value goods to the US, too, have started to look up. A report in the Hindu BusinessLine said engineering exports in fiscal 2013-14 had aggregated US $62 billion, with the US alone accounting for about 15 percent of the shipments.
A top Obama administration official, Arun Kumar, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, on his return from a recent visit of India, described India as a huge market for American businesses. Kumar, who is also Director General of the US and Foreign Commercial Service International Trade Administration, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing that this could be “the right time to improve bilateral trade ties” as there was a new government in charge in New Delhi.
One way of understanding the level of openness of any country, say analysts, is to measure the level of its exports. If India turns into a marginal steel exporter by the end of FY ’14, it could well be on its way of turning into a prominent exporter of engineering goods and machinery.
In 2012-13, India had exported engineering goods worth $65 billion, and of about $67 billion in 2013-14. Some hope this figure to go past the US $70 billion mark this fiscal year. But the country does have some heavyweights in competition like China, Germany, the Netherlands, US and Russia.