Exporters hit hard by coronavirus impact on global trade, seek relief

Indian exporters have urged the central government to come up with urgent relief to help the sector tide over the coronavirus-related business shutdown as trade in the country's top destinations gets paralysed.
File Photo (Courtesy: Reuters)
File Photo (Courtesy: Reuters)

New Delhi

In a submission, the Engineering Export Promotion Council has said that the Indian exporters find themselves in a state of turmoil.
The US, UAE, Germany, UK, Singapore, Italy, and China, among others, fall into the top destinations for Indian engineering exports, the largest contributors to the country's basket of merchandise exports.
"Trade is crippled in most of these destinations due to near collapse of global  supply chain even as the cargo movement has stopped. The warehousing capacity is over-stretched with severe blocking of export finance. The international shipping lines are affected. Even the urgent and less bulky cargo through air routes is paralysed as the airlines have trimmed their operations," said EEPC Chairman Ravi Sehgal.
He said that under these circumstances, the exporters, especially those in the highly job-oriented SMEs, need immediate fiscal relief and credit flow to keep their workforce and essential plant and machinery in operation.
"In any case, the export credit had contracted by about 23 per cent  in 2019 (Jan-Dec) even before the outbreak of the global crisis due to coronavirus."
Engineering exports for April-January 2019-20 to the US aggregated to $9.87 billion, followed by UAE ($3.58 billion) , Germany ($2.56 billion) and  UK ($2.26 billion). Other major destinations are China ($1.85 billion ), Italy ($1.65 billion), Republic of Korea ($1.62 billion) and France ($1.13 billion).
"All these markets are in the grip of crisis due to coronavirus. More worrisome is the uncertainty as there is no clue so far as to how long the global health emergency would last," said the EEPC India Chairman, impressing upon the government for urgent relief to exporters.

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