India's exports are projected to touch an all-time high of USD 330 billion in the current fiscal ending March 31, braving global challenges such as protectionist measures, Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan said on Thursday.
He was addressing global CEOs and trade partners at the International Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) here.
"With respect to exports, this year has been particularly good for us. We are likely to touch an all-time record and go past our earlier peak which was in 2013-14 at USD 314 billion and we hope to reach about USD 325-330 billion this year," Wadhawan said.
The commerce secretary said India's engineering exports have grown significantly in recent years, notwithstanding major global challenges.
Wadhawan added that starting from the global financial crisis of 2008-09, India's exporters have faced several challenges, including unilateral protectionist efforts by various countries.
He, however, said conducive government policies have propelled the engineering sector to greater heights.
US President Donald Trump has already announced to withdraw the preferential trade status granted to India and Turkey given under the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP), asserting that New Delhi has failed to assure America of "equitable and reasonable" access to its markets.
India exported goods worth USD 5.6 billion under the GSP, and the duty benefit is only USD 190 million annually. As many as 1,900 Indian products from sectors such as chemicals and engineering got duty-free access to the US market under the GSP, introduced in 1976.
EEPC India Chairman Ravi Sehgal said the levy of safeguard duty by the European Union may also affect the Indian exports.
In 2017-18, exports recorded a growth of about 10 per cent to USD 303 billion. Imports, on the other hand, totalled nearly USD 460 billion, leaving a trade deficit of about USD 157 billion.
During the April-January period of the current financial year, exports grew 9.52 per cent to USD 271.8 billion. Imports rose by 11.27 per cent to USD 427.73 billion.
IESS-VIII, being organised by EEPC India with a support from the commerce ministry and the Department of Heavy Industry, is India's largest display of engineering products and solutions with around 400 exhibitors, 500 overseas buyers and 10,000 trade visitors participating in the March 14-16 show. Malaysia is the Partner Country of the IESS 2019.