India was an exporter of textiles in the 16th century. Textiles and cotton were exported to the Arab countries from Gujarat. During the Mughal era India exported various precious stones such as ivory, pearls, tortoise stones etc. But during the British era, East India Company controlled foreign trade and thus the Indian exports declined.
The top exports of India are Refined Petroleum ($25.3B), Packaged Medicaments ($17.8B), Diamonds ($16B), Rice ($8.21B), and Jewellery ($7.57B), exporting mostly to United States ($49.7B), China ($18.5B), United Arab Emirates ($18.1B), Hong Kong ($9.18B), and Germany ($8.8B).
The country's exports have grown at a steady pace over the years, after foreign direct investment (FDI) was allowed on a large scale, and privatization of the state-run industries. Most of these changes were the result of economic reforms that India implemented in 1991.
The main products exported by India include:
- Engineering goods.
- Petroleum products.
- Gems and jewelry.
- Organic and inorganic chemicals.
- Drugs and pharmaceuticals.
- Electronic goods.
- Cotton yarn/fabrics/made-ups, handloom products etc.
- Ready-made garments (RMG) of all textiles.Cotton household furnishings & clothing
- Jewelery (e.g. watches, rings)
- Medicinal, dental and pharmaceutical preparations
- Semi-finished iron & steel products
- Non-cotton household furnishings & clothing
- Textile floor coverings (e.g. rugs)
- Industrial machinery
- Industrial organic chemicals
- Generators, transformers & accessories
- Steel making materials
- Precious metals
In addition to these goods and products, much of India's GDP is contributed to by the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry, call centres, and other service-based jobs from the US, Europe, and some of Asia.
Sub section (d) of section 111 and sub section (d) of section 113 says any good exported or attempted to be exported is liable to be confiscated, if it is found that prohibition is imposed by the government or under the customs act or any other law.
The Indian goods need to be of superior quality to improve the export status. The packaging and branding should also be such that it attracts the countries to which India is exporting.
At the same time India must consistently be looking for potential market to sell their goods. The government should frame policies which gives boost to the exports.