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`Focus on commodity groups for Asean export target'

Our Bureau

New Delhi , Oct. 17

IN order to attain the targeted level of $30 billion exports with Asean by 2007, India should focus on commodity groups such as drugs and pharmaceuticals, healthcare, engineering goods, auto components, leather, gems, jewellery and processed food items that are of maximum importance to Asean.

The country's trade with Asean was at about $9.76 billion in 2003. The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of India-Asean trade calculated for 2001 to 2003 at 17.62 per cent shows a promising increase towards a higher growth, according to a CII statement. It noted that in order to reach the desired $30 billion exports with Asean by 2007, the CAGR must be maintained at 32.38 per cent.

There are opportunities for cooperation in the financial services industry too, through joint ventures with local players and buying into local banks, said CII. There could be opportunities in terms of joint ventures with local players by offering end-to-end value added services in corporate banking, personal finance and insurance.

The CII study observed that the overall product diversification in the country's imports from Asean is far less than that of India's exports to the region. While India's exports to Asean are becoming increasingly diversified, concentration in its imports from the region had been rising. At the bilateral level too, product diversification was found to be relatively higher for the country's exports than its imports, excepting in the case of Thailand, it said.

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