I extend my Greetings on the New Year 2019. I wish great success to our Members, the Indian Industry, Business Houses and Investors.
The New Year seems to be an encouraging one for the Indian Industry, Business and Exporting community. Economic indicators are healthy. Growth of GDP for the first half of 2018-19 was 7.6%. Current account deficit as percentage of GDP was 2.7% in the same period. Value of merchandise exports and imports increased by 11.6% and 14.7% respectively in US Dollar terms during April-November 2018.Foreign Exchange Reserves stood at US$ 393.7 billion at end November 2018. CPI inflation declined to 2.3% in November 2018 from 3.4% in the preceding month. WPI inflation was 4.6% in November 2018, as compared to 5.3% in October 2018. The growth of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) during April-October 2018 was 5.6%, as compared to 2.5% recorded during corresponding period a year ago.Though there was a slight negative growth (0.87%) in export of Services, trade balance in Services was US$ 6.57 billion in end November 2018. Therefore, the New Year starts with a positive note.
The Government launched a historic support and outreach programme for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector in November 2018. As part of this programme, the government unveiled 12 key initiatives which would help the growth expansion and facilitation of MSMEs across the country. At the inaugural session of the 15th Global SME Business Summit in New Delhi, Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, Shri Suresh Prabhu, said that the Ministry was examining the proposal to set up trade promotion bodies in 15 countries to promote exports of SMEs from India.
An important development for our export houses is that India is now hopeful that the Chabahar Port in Iran will be fully operational soon. Union Minister Shri Nitin Gadkari and the Iranian Foreign Minister had a fruitful meeting and the leaders agreed to resolve all the pending issues.The Chabahar Port will be a booster for our overseas shipments, particularly to Iran and the Central Asia region.Commerce, Industry and Civil Aviation Minister, Shri Suresh Prabhu said that he would like to make 2019 “A new year for Exports.”
Last year MIICCIA consolidated its position further. It has signed several MoUs for mutual cooperation with other Chambers of Commerce. The most notable amongst those are:
In the context of India’s ‘Act East’ policy and Prime Minister’s thrust for deeper engagement with
ASEAN countries, MIICCIA is organizing a Business Conference “India-ASEAN Connecting for Business” on February 18, 2019 at the Civil Services Officers’ Institute (CSOI), Vinay Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. The conference will try to identify suitable economic opportunities in ASEAN countries, and create reliable networks for further boost to trade & investment. The Conference will benefit Indian entrepreneurs and business houses with updated information and also provide a platform to interact with Heads of Mission of the ASEAN countries. MIICCIA’s Secretariat would be happy to provide additional information and participation procedure.
We are all waiting for the Interim Budget of the Central Government on 1st Feb. In a bold decision and departure from the past practice, the Government has decided not to present the Economic Survey before the interim budget. They have left the Economic Survey, which outlines the vision and the economic road map for the upcoming year, for presentation by the new government before the full budget.