Any country today large or small, developed or developing cannot survive and grow in isolation. It has to trade in the international market. The export gives a much-needed flip to its home industry by adding new customers and increasing the profit margins. Indeed import-export data can reveal a country’s progress report. If the import-export data reveals that the volumes are low and the country happens to be dealing only in raw materials and agriculture products then it is time for its government to take some steps to change the scenario.

Structural transformation depends not only on how much countries export but also on what they export and with whom they trade.

There are in fact five priority areas for policymakers which must be addressed:

(1) Reduction of trade costs,

(2) Liberalization of FDI including through simplification of regulations and procedures;

(3) Improving infrastructure including in urban areas to enhance manufacturing and services in cities;

(4) Preparing labor resources (skills) and markets (flexibility) for the technological progress to improve income levels and production base

(5) Creating an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship for higher productivity activities.

As country’s import-export data reveals India’s exports have been increasing since the early-1990s – both as a share of GDP and as a share of world exports. Total exports as a share of GDP have risen to almost 25 percent in 2013 from around 10 percent in 1995. Besides, Indian goods exports as a share of world goods exports have also risen, with the share almost tripling to 1.7 percent during 1995-2013. This amply indicates that the exports have indeed helped the Indian economy grow.  It is, therefore, must be the priority area for the policy makers to give even further flip to the economy. Even in the service sector, a similar trend is visible   –   tripling to over 3 percent of world service exports during 2000-2013.

The economists generally believe that trade leads to structural transformation and diversification of economies, but country’s structural transformation also depends on what goods and services are traded and with which countries. Therefore India’s economy is both robust and growing as the composition of its export basket is constantly improving to finished goods and its trading partners are also increasing. Thus all we need to do is to maintain this trend for the sound economic growth.

**India Export Import Data; Post 2004 as per notification no 128/2004 does not have names of Indian   companies.

**India Export Import Data is available from Jan-2010 to 26th November-2016.