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Import & Export To India

Importing & Exporting to India in 2024: A Comprehensive Guide

Economic Overview of India in 2024

Amidst recent global turbulence, India has demonstrated remarkable economic resilience, positioning itself as the world’s fastest-growing major economy in 2023. The nation’s economic trajectory is set to maintain its upward momentum in 2024.

Let’s look at a snapshot of India’s current economic standing by the numbers: 

  • GDP growth: India saw a GDP expansion of 7.6% in September 2023. Projections from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) indicate India’s growth forecast at 6.1% for 2024, outpacing major economies like China and Brazil.
  • Inflation trends: retail inflation in India has been on a downward trajectory, witnessing a decline from its peak of 7.44% in July. Forecasters anticipate further moderation in inflation, contingent upon factors such as a well-distributed monsoon.
  • Monetary policy and interest rates: the Reserve Bank of India has pursued an “actively disinflationary” policy stance, maintaining the short-term repo rate at 6.5%.
  • Foreign exchange reserves: India’s foreign exchange reserves surpassed the $600 billion mark in December 2023.

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Exporting from India

Here are the industries representing India’s top export opportunities for 2024:

  • Manufacturing: the government’s Production-linked Incentive (PLI) schemes have led to a surge in domestic manufacturing, particularly in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, auto components, and textiles. India’s skilled workforce presents opportunities for exporting heavy machinery, construction equipment, and engineered goods.
  • Agriculture: India’s extensive coastline offers opportunities for exporting high-quality seafood, and its rich culinary heritage drives demand for spices, condiments, and herbal products.
  • Gems and jewelry: India’s expertise in diamond cutting and polishing and affinity for hold positions it as a global leader in the industry with the potential to expand exports of polished diamonds, jewelry, and ornaments.
  • Wellness: India’s ancient healing traditions, including Ayurveda and yoga, are gaining global traction, fostering exports of herbal medicines, spa services, and wellness products. The growing global focus on fitness drives demand for Indian-made fitness equipment and activewear.
Importing From India

India also offers a variety of government initiatives aimed at fostering growth, innovation, and global competitiveness:

  • Exporter support: initiatives like the Interest Equalization Scheme, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES), and Market Access Initiatives (MAI) Scheme provide crucial support to exporters.
  • Tariffs and taxes: schemes such as the Rebate of State and Central Levies and Taxes (RoSCTL) and the Remission of Duties and Taxes on Exported Products (RoDTEP) incentivize labor-oriented sectors and address tariff anomalies. 
  • Export and manufacturing efficiency: the launch of a Common Digital Platform for Certificate of Origin and the Districts as Export Hubs initiative further streamlines export processes and promotes local manufacturing.

Challenges in India’s Import and Export Landscape 

Exporting From India

Navigating the import and export landscape in India poses a range of challenges, ranging from regulatory complexities to logistical hurdles and market dynamics. Here are some of the key challenges for importers and exporters.

  • Logistics problems: exporters often encounter delays at storage facilities, ports, and other points within the supply chain due to inefficient synchronization of shipment plans and improper documentation.
  • Complicated and manual documentation: the complexity of regulations and paperwork processes can make it challenging for exporters to maintain compliance with international standards.
  • High transaction costs: exporting goods from India can entail high transaction costs, especially for small and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets.
  • Lack of visibility: the absence of real-time tracking and visibility of export shipments and their gate-in and gate-out times complicates supply chain management, leading to operational inefficiencies.
  • Government restrictions: obtaining necessary governmental approvals involves a lengthy and complex process, with regulatory departments imposing complex laws and policies that significantly delay shipment. 
  • High tariffs and protectionist policies: India maintains high average applied tariffs and bound tariff rates, restricting market access for certain goods and services.
  • Infrastructure challenges: India’s infrastructure development needs pose significant challenges, with congested and inefficient roads, railways, seaports, and airports creating capacity constraints.

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Major Exports from India

Here are the top 10 most exported products from India:

  1. Leather products: Indian leather is highly sought after worldwide, with items such as purses, shoes, jackets, and cricket balls finding markets in countries like the US and Europe.
  2. Petroleum products: as the second-largest refiner in Asia after China, India exports petroleum products like petrol, diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and LPG to countries such as the US, China, and the Netherlands.
  3. Gems and jewelry: India’s natural wealth in gold, diamonds, pearls, and gemstones fuels its status as the world’s fifth-largest exporter of jewelry, with cut and polished diamonds being the most exported items.
  4. Automobiles and equipment: India’s rich reserves of iron and steel drive its export of machinery, parts, and automobiles.
  5. Pharmaceutical products: the Indian pharmaceutical industry, ranking third largest by volume and fourteenth largest by value, exports active ingredients, biopharmaceuticals, finished drugs, and vaccines to various countries.
  6. Electronic goods: with the global demand for electronics on the rise, India exports mobiles, laptops, computers, and accessories, benefitting from initiatives like Digital India.
  7. Dairy products: India’s agricultural prowess extends to dairy products like milk, ghee, cheese, and curd, which are exported to countries where they command higher prices.
  8. Handloom and cotton yarns: as the second-largest cotton-producing country globally, India exports cotton-based textiles, including sheets and towels, to countries like the US, Brazil, and Australia.
  9. Textiles and apparel: India exports natural and artificial fibers for the manufacturing of apparel items like t-shirts, jeans, and jackets.
  10. Cereal: with abundant wheat and maida production, India is a top exporter of cereals to Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
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Freightos Offers Seamless Importing & Exporting Solutions 

As we’ve seen, India is a pivotal player in international trade, shaping the global trade landscape with its diverse exports and imports. For importers and exporters seeking to take advantage of India’s key position, platforms like Freightos play an instrumental role in facilitating seamless trade transactions and overcoming some of the common challenges we discussed above.

For shipping to and from India and beyond, Freightos offers a one-stop platform to compare quotes, book shipments, and communicate with freight forwarders. Try Freightos.com’s marketplace today to find the best prices and manage your shipment all in one place.

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Jude Abraham

Jude Abraham is Freightos’ Content Marketing Lead, a seasoned high-tech storyteller and marketing strategist who has created award-winning content for global brands. Off the clock, Jude revels in the complex flavors of spicy curries, savors the balanced notes of an Old Fashioned, and spends countless hours indulging his fascination with ancient esoteric books.

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