Trade with India increases in 2021
10 Feb 2022 13:06 Economy
India had a hard time last year. After the large-scale vaccination campaign at the beginning of the year, the shock of 414,000 new cases per day followed in early May. This led to apocalyptic scenes: Crematoria in continuous operation, relatives and families desperately trying to find a free hospital bed or a bottle of oxygen for their loved ones, and concerted relief efforts by the international community.
The emerging economic recovery, which was still supposed to be spurred by the budget plan (Union Budget) in February, which, in addition to the significant increase in state infrastructure investments, also including the intention to increase the privatisation of many state enterprises, thus lost momentum.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts real economic growth of 9.5 percent for India's fiscal year 2021/22 (1 April to 31 March). In 2022/23, gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to increase by 8.5 percent. The World Bank gives slightly more conservative figures for the two fiscal years, with growth of 8.3 and 7.5 percent respectively. India's economic output is expected to return to pre-crisis levels in 2022.
According to the AHK India, Indo-German trade statistics improved from January to October 2021, with imports from India rising by just under 21.5 percent to a good nine billion euros. With a plus of a good 16.2 percent to 9.9 billion euros, exports to India did not increase quite as much.
While a strict nationwide lockdown was still imposed by the central government in 2020, in 2021 the power lay with the respective states, which could impose regionally adapted measures. Thus, the dramatic delays in the supply chains could be mitigated.
After tourists were allowed to travel to the country again for the first time in November, India has now tightened its entry regulations again with the outbreak of the Omicron variant. Future developments are therefore strongly dependent on the course of the pandemic in the coming weeks.
The dramatic developments in India have accordingly also had an impact on the everyday operations of the Port of Hamburg Marketing Representative Office (HRM) team. Despite the difficult conditions, HRM remained the first point of contact in a logistically very complex market. At the same time, the representative office continued to focus on networking with Indian stakeholders from the shipping and logistics industry and on marketing the Port of Hamburg. Thus, in less critical times, I had the opportunity to personally welcome Rajiv Jalota as the new Chairperson of the Mumbai Port Trust. Beyond that, it was hard to think of face-to-face events and trade fairs. Another highlight were some events that could be organised within the framework of India Week Hamburg.
At a Hamburg-India Business Day co-organised by HRM, Hamburg companies were able to discuss topics related to Indo-German trade, implications in supply chains and the current economic policy programme "Selfreliant India", as well as its significance for industrial production and corresponding trade flows. Last but not least, HRM celebrated its 10th anniversary in a separate event, in line with COVID-regulations, with partners and friends.