Bikky Khosla | 12 May, 2020
rating agency last week said that the Indian economy will not grow in the
current financial year due to the “deep shock” triggered by the Coronavirus outbreak.
No doubt, the ongoing nationwide lockdown has severely impacted the economy, but fortunately
economists see a bounce-back to 6.6 percent growth in FY22. Our export sector
is also bearing the brunt of the global pandemic, but yet it seems the crisis
has brought in an opportunity for the sector to become the biggest growth
engine for the Indian economy in coming days.
According to a recent report, India’s plastic
exporters are now seeking to grab China’s share in the global market. Already,
several countries, which hold China responsible for global spread of COVID-19,
are looking alternative supply sources. Compared to China’s 10 percent share in
the $1 trillion global plastic exports, India’s present share is only about one
percent. Due to a ban imposed by the Chinese authority on plastic scrap imports
two years ago, plastic production costs already went up there, and now the backlash
against China offers an opportunity to Indian exporters.
A similar opportunity is there when it
comes to exports of masks. Currently, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia,
Brazil and Argentina are some major exporters of masks, and now India can be an
alternative to China, that even at a time when the habit of wearing
masks is catching up on people worldwide. Again, India is already a major producer of
generic drugs, and now the opportunity is to move beyond it, as a provider of
low-cost, high quality medicine as well as medical related services.
An economic research report by State Bank
of India last week said that India -- presently only with just 1.7 percent in
global merchandise exports -- can look at incremental exports growing by $20
billion (in the least favourable outcome) to a significant $193 billion jump in
the five-year horizon if it builds its capabilities and captures share from
China. It points out to sectors, such as consumer goods, particularly food
products, where the government can give a direct push to this sector. Such
I invite our opinions.