ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Anatomy of India's Merchandise Export Growth, 1993-94 to 2010-11

This paper analyses the growth and pattern of India's merchandise exports during the post-reform period (1993-94 to 2010-11). The first decade after reforms (from 1993-94 to 2001-02) was characterised by a relatively low export growth rate of 8% a year, while the second decade (from 2002-03 to 2010-11) stands apart for its strong growth of 21% a year. The growth rate is at an impressive 24% per annum during the pre-financial crisis period of 2002-03 to 2008-09. These trends, based on India's official export data, have been further confirmed using "mirror statistics" that have been constructed on the basis of imports reported by India's trading partners. The composition of exports has undergone consistent changes in favour of capital and skill-intensive products. The lack of dynamism in labour-intensive exports is a matter of concern because it is this sector that holds the potential to absorb the large pool of surplus labour from agriculture. The analysis shows a major shift in India's export destination from the traditional developed country markets to the emerging markets in Asia and Africa.

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