Top officials of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) met chief minister Kamal Nath on Thursday morning. FIEO president Ganesh Gupta told the chief minister that the state has the capability to double its exports in the next five years. “Kamal Nath has been the Union minister for textiles and commerce. His subject has been exports and after we spoke to him, the chief minister said he is ready to take the take the state forward,” Ganesh Gupta said.
FIEO officials said that Madhya Pradesh “is full of untapped export opportunities”. At present, the state’s share in the country’s total export is 1.6% which Ganesh Gupta claimed could reach 3.4% to even 4% in the next five years. Agricultural and dairy products could be the main export items from the state.
Director general of FIEO Ajay Sahai said that export relations could be strengthened with China which has stopped its import of soyabeans from the US. “China has a huge market and it is now changing its trend,” Ajay Sahai said. “Madhya Pradesh is the largest grower of soyabeans. Also, investment can come from China. The chief minister has a deep knowledge and we suggested that the state can invite foreign investment in pharmaceuticals and auto components sectors,” he said.
During the meeting with Kamal Nath, it was discussed if a diamond cluster can be developed in Madhya Pradesh. “Gujarat has no diamonds but it imports diamonds and do the cutting and finishing job. A similar cluster for diamonds can be set up here where there are diamond deposits. It can generate lakhs of jobs in the state,” Ganesh Gupta explained.
He said that since Madhya Pradesh is land-locked, the government needs to give a subsidy for transportation if exports are to be promoted. “The transportation costs are more and that has to be subsidised,” Gupta said.
The state has seven GI (geographical indication) tagged tagged products including Chanderi fabric, leather toys, bagh-print textiles, Ratlam sev and Kadaknath chickens. “More GI products need to be registered and then marketed effectively. Whenever the country’s GDP increased, exports have played a major role,” Gupta said.