Trade Sector Updates – Falling Exports, TIES, MEIS, Foreign Trade Policy, etc.

Netherlands becomes India’s 3rd Largest Export Destination in 2023-24


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Key facts and figures about Indian exports

PC: LiveMinit

Why in the News?

During fiscal year 2023-24, the Netherlands emerged as India’s third-largest export market, with a trade surplus expanding to $17.4 billion.

India’s Trade with the Netherlands

  • Key Export Commodities: Notable export items to the Netherlands include petroleum products ($14.29 billion), electrical goods, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, showcasing robust growth in these sectors.
  • Continual Expansion: India’s exports to the Netherlands have steadily risen by approximately 3.5% to reach $22.36 billion in 2023-24, illustrating sustained growth momentum.
  • Mutual Investment: The Netherlands is a significant investor in India, with foreign direct investment (FDI) amounting to about $5 billion during the last fiscal.
  • Corporate Presence: Over 200 Dutch companies, including industry giants like Philips, Akzo Nobel, and KLM, operate in India, while Indian firms like TCS, HCL, and Sun Pharmaceuticals have a substantial presence in the Netherlands.

Shift in Trade Dynamics

  • Outpacing Major Destinations: The Netherlands has surpassed traditional trade partners such as the U.K., Hong Kong, Bangladesh, and Germany in terms of India’s export focus.
  • Long-term Growth: Export figures have shown consistent growth since 2000-01 when India’s exports to the Netherlands were a mere $880 million.

Significance: Gateway to Europe

  • Strategic Positioning: The Netherlands’ efficient ports and extensive connectivity with the EU via roads, railways, and waterways have positioned it as a vital gateway to the European market.
  • Strong Ties: Diplomatic relations between India and the Netherlands, established in 1947, have evolved into robust political, economic, and commercial partnerships.

India’s Trade Dynamics

Export Figures:

  • Forecasted to reach approximately US$776.68 billion in FY 2023–24.
  • Slightly surpassed the US$776.40 billion recorded in the previous fiscal year.
  • Concluded with the highest monthly merchandise exports of US$41.68 billion in March 2024.

Import Figures:

  • Total goods imports decreased by 5.66 percent to US$675.44 billion.

Global Merchandise Export Ranking:

  • India advanced from 19th to 17th place.
  • Marginal increase in share from 1.70 percent in 2014 to 1.82 percent in 2023.
  • Exported to 115 countries out of a total of 238 destinations during FY 2023-24.

Key Export Markets:

  • Include the US, UAE, Netherlands, China, UK, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Bangladesh, Germany, and Italy.
  • Represent 46.5 percent of India’s export portfolio.

Diversification Strategy:

  • Focus on expanding beyond traditional sectors like iron ore and agricultural commodities.
  • Target sectors include electronics, pharmaceuticals, engineering products, and food items.
  • Plan to introduce goods such as alcoholic beverages, prepared meals, confectioneries, jackfruit, and bananas.
  • Emphasis on market research and analysis for product customization.

Trade Partners:

  • China emerged as India’s largest trading partner, surpassing the US.
  • Bilateral trade with China totalled US$118.4 billion in FY 2023-24.
  • Bilateral trade with the US amounted to US$118.3 billion in the same period.
  • India’s exports to China increased by 8.7 percent in FY24, driven by various sectors.
  • Imports from China rose moderately, totalling US$101.7 billion.

(Source of Data: Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Department of Commerce)


[2013] The balance of payments of a country is a systematic record of:

(a) All import and export transactions of a country during a given period of time, normally a year.

(b) Goods exported from a country during a year.

(c) Economic transaction between the governments of one country to another.

(d) Capital movements from one country to another.


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