Trade ChakraIndia Trade ChakraIndia Business Trade Chakra
Trade Chakra

Exports play an important role in a nation’s foreign trade. The article would bring about a better understanding of export trade of India, its history, leading export items, leading source nations and future trends.


Export means the transferring of any good from one country to another country in a legal way for the purpose of trade. Export goods are provided to the foreign consumers by the domestic producers.

Indian Exports: A History
The history of Indian exports is very old. During ancient times India exported spices to the other parts of the world. India was also famous for its textiles which were a chief item for export in the 16th century. Textiles and cotton were exported to the Arab countries from Gujarat. During the Mughal era India exported various precious stones such as ivory, pearls, tortoise stones etc. But during the British era, Indian exports declined as the East India Company took control of foreign trade.

Though India has seen some product diversification in its export basket, it has not expanded significantly in the two big markets-Africa and Latin America.

India’s business with South Asian countries is also negligible. This region has not been integrated with the global economy, though political and economic initiatives have been taken in the recent past in this direction.

Leading Export Items of India
In the past ten years, Indian exports have grown at a rate of nearly 22%. Some commodities have enjoyed faster export growth than others. Some of India's main export items are cotton, textiles, jute goods, tea, coffee, cocoa products, rice, wheat, pickles, mango pulp, juices, jams, preserved vegetables etc. India exports its goods to some of the leading countries of the world such as UK, Belgium, USA, China, Russia etc.

Restriction on the Exports of Items
However there are some restrictions on the export of goods. Under sub section (d) of section 111 and sub section (d) of section 113, any good exported or attempted to be exported, contrary to any prohibition imposed by or under the customs act or any other law is liable for confiscation.

Export Trends
If the Indian economy grows at the same pace, India would most definitely export goods worth US $500 billion by 2013 and may supersede the exports of other large developing countries like Brazil.

The Way Ahead
India needs the right mix of policy formulation sector focus and industry led initiatives to move up the value chain in the global export basket

The Opportunity
It is very clear that Indian exports have still not achieved their true potential and there exists immense opportunities for expanding the basket of India’s exports. With a strategic attention on the new markets that are evolving due to free trade, India is witnessing a boom in both manufacturing and services.

Problems of the Indian Export Sector
There are few problems which need to be solved before India makes a mark for itself in the export sector. The Indian goods have to be of superior quality. The packaging and branding should be such that countries are interested to export from India. At the same time India must look for potential market to sell their goods. The government should frame policies which gives boost to the exports.

Directional Change In Exports
India has seen massive directional change in the context of origin of demand for Indian products. Till 2001-02 North America and the EU markets shared nearly 21% and 23.2 % respectively of total exports and the remaining to the rest of the globe. By 2006-07, North America had a share of only 16% of the total exports and the EU's share was 21.2%.

Recent Additions