Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on Monday said Bihar was sitting on an untapped export potential worth US $ 900 million which, if harnessed judiciously, could propel the value of merchandise exports from the state to US $ 2 billion in the short term.
In the year 2017-18, the merchandise exports from the state was valued at US $ 1.35 billion, of which the major contribution came from petroleum products at 66%, followed by buffalo meat 6.1%, other grains 5.1%, non-basmati rice 5% and pharmaceutical formulations and organic material 3.7%.
Presenting the findings of a study commissioned by the industries department, at an interactive meeting with stakeholders, Exim Bank general manager Lokesh Kumar said, “The potential is huge and opportunities are big. US $ 2 billion goal is achievable once we start believing in it and create the enabling environment.”
The working paper, titled “Promoting Exports from Bihar: Insights and Policy Perspectives”, outlines the requirements and also identifies the components for a multi-pronged strategy to realize the untapped potential for pushing the state on a high export growth trajectory.
Hinting at the very small export basket and the limited exposure to geographies, Sanjay Lamba, regional head of the Exim Bank, encouraged exporters to explore new products and regions for exports.
Textile and garment sector occupies the highest slot in the list of 81 items, identified as product champions, with 24 types of products, followed by pharmaceutical ingredients and animal products that could give a leg-up to the endeavour to expand the export basket from the state.
Industries department secretary Narmadeshwar Lal, who released the working paper, also spelled out the future initiatives in the pipeline, while assuring to consider the recommendations of the study.
The study, compiled by Jahanwi Singh, chief manager, Exim Bank, has recommended the setting up of inland container depots (ICD), a crucial and persistent demand by local industry leaders, establishment of custom clearance office at the existing ICD facility in Patna, augmenting warehouse and cold chain infrastructure and setting up SEZs in Patna, Bhagalpur and Muzaffarpur.