Chair, Institute for Competitiveness
India’s economic history in a post-independence era shows that export was not the most favoured economic pillar. It was evident with no provisions for export in the first two Five Year Plans. This, combined with strong import-substitution industrialisation, further limited the attention diverted towards the Indian exports. But in the post-liberalisation world, it is impossible to sustain as a fast-developing economy without a strong push for domestic exports. And India has already reaped massive economic benefits by turning to exports in the last 30 years.
However, recently it has been noted that slowdown of world growth and trade has adversely impacted the progress of Indian merchandise exports. Thus, India needs to create a sustainable path for maintaining a steady outflow of goods to various economic destinations of the world. In a world that has been severely hurt by COVID 19, this task further adds more to the existing set of challenges.
To address the above problems, India has turned to its States to establish ‘export hubs’. These hubs will be responsible for meeting global requirements while improving safety compliance and quality goods to expand their global market share. In order to achieve such a mammoth feat, the Indian States and Union Territories must be evaluated to assess their preparedness to meet long-term demand for domestic exports.
The Export Preparedness Index is a data-driven effort to identify the core areas that are crucial for export promotion at the sub-national level. All the States and Union Territories have been assessed on crucial parameters that are critical for any typical economic unit to achieve sustainable export growth. The Index would be a helpful guide for the State Governments to benchmark regional performance with respect to export promotion and thus deliver key policy insights on how to improve and enhance the same. Export Preparedness Index is the first of its kind; hence it is expected to be refined over time, and improvements will be made to the methodology and evaluation process in the coming years.
The Institute for Competitiveness is pleased to deliver NITI Aayog with knowledge support in this endeavour and helping the country towards a stronger export promotion at a sub-national level. I would like to thank Shri Ishtiyaque Ahmed, Sr. Advisor, NITI Aayog for his tireless support throughout the evaluation process of the Export Preparedness Index 2020. I would also like to thank Shri Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog and Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, for their invaluable feedback during the process.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the support of my team at the Institute for Competitiveness, including Aniruddh Duttaa, Jatin Nair, Manisha Kapoor, Sampriti Mukherjee, Souma Sekhar Gangopadhyay, Suprerana Chakraborty in preparing this report. I am certain that the study outlined here will enable a transformational shift in the Indian Export landscape.