The significant openness which started becoming visible in the nineties intensified from 2000 onwards with a sharp focus given through the FTP has resulted in a reversal of the declining trend in global trade. However, the growth of the Indian economy in recent times has outpaced the trade growth or that trade growth has lagged behind the overall growth.
To draw comparisons with China, during 1950, India’s exports were more than that of China, however, gradually China overtook India. It may be interesting to note that Chinas share in manufactured exports stood at 1.8 per cent and India’s at 0.5 per cent during 1990 but presently China has become the largest exporter of manufactured goods, displacing even the US while for India share in global manufactured exports is only around one per cent. India’s export is only about 15 per cent of what China exports to the rest of the world. This is not to take away any credit to India on the export front which has seen some distinct focus and acceleration in the last few years. Except that the global recession has adversely affected global trade including exports of India and China, resulting in contraction of exports in the wake of slowdown of global trade.
There is an apparent turnaround since recent times but resulting out of steep depreciation of the Rupee. With signs of recovery in the US and Europe, exports are likely to pick up. The overall objective, as already covered in the FTP is to double our share by 2020. The composition of Indian exports has also undergone a change, diversified from an exporter of traditional and agricultural-based products to increased exports of manufactured goods which now account for over 69 per cent of the total exports and a relative decline in the share of exports of primary articles.