Indian Transport & Logistics

Gujarat retains top spot in NITI Aayog's second Export Preparedness Index 2021

This edition has shown that most of the ‘Coastal States’ are the best performers, with Gujarat leading the way as the top performer

Gujarat retains top spot in NITI Aayogs second Export Preparedness Index 2021

Gujarat has retained the top position at the NITI Aayog's second edition of the Export Preparedness Index 2021 followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as among the states who are the top 10 performers.

These and more such insights were part of the Export Preparedness Index (EPI) 2021 prepared by NITI Aayog, in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness and released on Friday. This edition has shown that most of the 'Coastal States' are the best performers, with Gujarat as the top performer.

Meanwhile, among union territories, Delhi has topped the index followed by Goa, Jammu, Kashmir, Chandigarh, and Puducherry while Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Tripura, Sikkim, and Manipur were at the top five spots among the Himalayan states.

"Over the years, it has been noticed that the coastal states, namely Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, are the significant exporters in the country. In the year 2020-2021, the combined share of the three states constituted around 60 per cent of the total country's exports. Relative to the coastal and landlocked areas, states in the hilly terrains are still struggling to make a mark at the global export network. Such contrast depicts how the diverse locations impact the state's export dimensions. Gujarat, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have become the flag bearer of export lead growth. Gujarat has been leading the export contribution in India, with its total share accounting for 20.83 per cent as of 2020- 2021. The state government has been concentrating on export promotion policies and has successfully designed a platform for the export-oriented units and companies to promote their products and reach a global audience. Similarly, Maharashtra, the second-largest exporter in the country with a 20.06 per cent share, has facilitated export growth by focusing on initiatives such as Ease of Doing business and providing subsidies to SME's units," the report cited.

While the report is a comprehensive analysis of India's export achievements, it is also a benchmarking of the performance of states and UTs on various indicators, to analyse and bring about better policy mechanisms to foster export-led growth. The Export Preparedness Index is a data-driven endeavour to identify the fundamental areas critical for subnational export promotion.

The EPI ranks states and UTs on 4 main pillars namely policy; business ecosystem; export ecosystem; export performance and 11 sub-pillars including export promotion policy, institutional framework, business environment, infrastructure, transport connectivity, access to finance, export infrastructure; trade support, R&D infrastructure; export diversification and growth orientation.

The index was released by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr Rajiv Kumar, in the presence of NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant, Department of Commerce Secretary BVR Subrahmanyam, and other dignitaries.

EPI 2021 brings out three major challenges to India's export promotion. These are intra- and inter-regional differences in export infrastructure; weak trade support and growth orientation across states; and lack of R&D infrastructure to promote complex and unique exports. The index can be a valuable tool for the government and policymakers in encouraging healthy competition among states and UTs, hence enhancing India's standing in the global export market.

While releasing the report, NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Dr. Rajiv Kumar remarked that EPI 2021 will help the states and UTs in a long way to plan and execute sound export-oriented policies for ensuring a conducive export ecosystem, to make maximum utilization of their export potential. Meanwhile, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant emphasized that the second edition of the index will be a significant catalyst for promoting competitive federalism and a fair contest among states and UTs in the global export landscape.

During the event, Department of Commerce Secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam highlighted that there is also a need to work continuously on strengthening our manufacturing and infrastructure ecosystems at the state/UT levels to ensure robust growth of exports in the future.

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