Kerala needs to rework its export strategies: Study

Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 17 (IANS) Kerala has to rework its export strategies by exploring new sectors in which the state has a competitive advantage besides revamping of the educational system by developing a skill-based curriculum, a recent study recommends.

Kerala is the seventh largest exporting state in the country with a contribution of $4.8 billion during the year 2015-16.

The study that was conducted in the context of the state losing its dominance in some of the major agricultural sector exports was released here on Tuesday by State Industries Minister A.C. Moideen.

It was prepared by Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC), the premier industrial promotion arm of the state government, and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the apex body of all Export Promotion organisations in the country, to find out what needs to be done to give exports a boost.

The study found that most of the exports were from primary and low technology sectors and representation of high value items was minimal.

The study identifies sectors such as marine products, foodstuff, plywood, textile, rubber, carpets and medical instruments as having potential for diversification.

It stressed the need for streamlining efforts for developing an export basket containing items from three sectors for which world demand is growing.

The products that found its way outside the country included spices, essential oils, rubber-related and carpet products — which accounted for just 20.43 per cent of the state’s export revenues in 2014, while vegetable products, animals and fish together formed about 50 per cent of the exports from the state.

As part of the study, 58 product clusters that account for 90 per cent of Kerala’s regular exports were studied and their growth prospects analysed.

The report suggests revamping of educational system by developing a skill-based curriculum and creating more innovation and incubation centres.

Effective academia-industry collaboration in R&D, improving the quality of scientific research institutions and government initiative to utilise the technologies developed are other proposed measures that will help achieve the state’s target of five per cent share in India’s exports in the next five years.