India's exports surged by 27% year-on-year in July as a resurgent economy pushed up industrial output, the commerce ministry said August 16. Exports during July rose to US$ 7.23 billion from $5.70 billion a year earlier. Exports rose 21.3% year-on-year between April-June to $28.13 billion.
Imports in July grew by 33.2% to $9.9 billion from $7.4 billion in July 2004. From April -June imports grew by 36.36% $42.10 billion. The trade deficit swelled to $13.97 billion during the quarter from $7.69 billion in the same period a year earlier.
Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said a large percentage of the imports involved industrial machinery which would boost national income. He added, "With this trend in exports and our concerted efforts to sustain it, I am confident that we will reach and even surpass the export target of $92 billion which has been set for this fiscal year."
Industrial production grew by 11.7% in June, nearing a 10-year record as India's increasingly affluent consumers bought new cars, refrigerators and other manufactured goods.
The government hopes to complete a trade agreement with Gulf countries in the next six months along the lines of a pact with Singapore comprising accords on trade in goods and services and investment protection. "We are looking at an Economic Cooperation Agreement with Gulf Cooperation Council member countries so as to bring the economies of the Gulf closer to India on a mutually beneficial basis," Nath said. The grouping has Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates as its members.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2005