The Indian economy has shown that it can stand up to the unprecedented challenges posed by a new crisis- driven world order. Indian merchandise exports in December 2021 grew 37 per cent over December 2020 to USD 37.29 billion, recording the highest ever margin for a single month. This exceptional performance in the middle of an ongoing global pandemic results from insightful thinking and planned execution by Indian states.

The pandemic revealed the significance of our nation’s Atmanirbhar (self-reliance) philosophy. When the country was grappling with the shortage of medical supplies, Indian companies came forward and collaborated with research institutions to develop testing kits, medical equipment and PPE kits. The ‘Vocal for Local’ initiative of the government of India led the charge in manufacturing indigenously developed PPE kits and masks, even transforming the nation from a state of acute shortage into a major exporter in the sector. Government initiatives, such as the Production Linked Initiative (PLI) scheme that promotes large-scale electronics manufacturing create an ecosystem ideal for capability building and boosting the country’s export capacity.

The Export Preparedness Index (EPI), 2021, reflects the measures taken and implemented at national and sub- national levels. The index ranks all the states and union territories in the country to determine their export readiness and performance. The Export Preparedness Index provides a regulatory framework for the regional economies
to inculcate a competitive industrial environment. Hopefully, the second edition continues to cater to the needs
of states in identifying their critical challenges and strengths to foster an export-led growth economy. The index would continue to provide analytical insights and policy recommendations to the states and union territories in promoting a robust export ecosystem regionally for the integrated development of the country.

I would take this opportunity to thank the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar and CEO Mr. Amitabh Kant for their invaluable guidance and support throughout the completion of the report. I would also like to extend my regards to the entire team at NITI Aayog for their contribution and everyone who provided support for the successful completion of the second edition of the Export Preparedness Index.

© 2022 Institute for Competitiveness, India

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