Tamil Nadu has secured the top spot in Export Preparedness Index (EPI), 2022 released by Niti Aayog. Gujarat had topped the chart in the last two rankings. The report presents a comprehensive analysis of India’s export performance in the financial year 2022-23, along with its sector-specific and district-level merchandise export trends.

Tamil Nadu was placed fourth in 2021 and third in 2020. The EPI 2022 report evaluated the performances of states on four counts - policy, business ecosystem, export ecosystem, and export performance.

Tamil Nadu scored a combined 80.89 on the above four counts ahead of Maharashtra (78.2), Karnataka (73.22) and Haryana (63.65). Tamil Nadu scored 97.21 on policy, 88.84 on business ecosystem, 73.68 for export ecosystem and 63.34 for export performance.

Among the districts in Tamil Nadu, Kancheepuram is the highest exporting district and the state’s top exporting districts contribute to 11.88% of the total exports in India.

Tamil Nadu’s electronics exports posted a two-fold increase in electronic exports from $1.86 billion in 2021-22 to $5.37 billion in 2022-23. Interestingly, the state was number three exporter of electronic goods after Karnataka ($3.87 billion), Uttar Pradesh (3.77 billion) and Maharashtra (42.08 billion) in 2021-22.

The state-wise data of exports are available only from 2017-18. In India’s Ease of Doing Business rankings last year, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Telangana, Haryana, Karnataka, Punjab and Tamil Nadu were the top achievers.

The Tamil Nadu government said that the state securing top spot in the Export Preparedness Index 2022 is proof of the state’s ease of doing business climate.

“This remarkable feat showcases the strength of our industrial ecosystem and the visionary policies of our Dravidian Model Government. Kudos to all stakeholders for their hard work and dedication. We remain committed to fostering an environment conducive to growth and prosperity,” tweeted Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin.

“Tamil Nadu securing the No. 1 place in Export Preparedness Index, 2022, reinforces the state’s top rank in ease of doing business. Tamil Nadu has long been an export leader in sectors like automotive, leather and textiles, and we recently became the No. 1 exporter of electronic goods,” said state industries minister TRB Rajaa.

“This will strengthen our resolve to become a $1 trillion economy by 2030,” the minister added.  

The Export Preparedness Index extends India’s innate heterogeneity to its exports and serves as a tool to help states in developing strategies for their context-specific challenges, said the Niti Aayog report.

The third iteration of this report provides a comprehensive analysis of the country’s export trends, district-level performance, and insights from the analysis of states and UTs.

It highlights the achievements made in surpassing export targets despite challenging circumstances and acknowledges the collaborative efforts of the government and state governments in creating a resilient export ecosystem.

The report begins by analysing global and Indian export trends, examining trade patterns and sector-specific performance. It highlights the need to focus on districts as export hubs and describes the steps taken by the government to promote this approach. The report also identifies the top exporting districts of India’s best-performing states, providing valuable insights for other states to develop tailored export promotion strategies.

The framework for the third edition has incorporated new and revised indicators, with a focus on districts. It introduces new district-level parameters to capture the evolving export landscape. The index is divided into four dynamic pillars and sub-pillars, providing a detailed assessment of each state’s export preparedness.

The performance analysis at the country, pillar, and sub-pillar levels identifies strengths and areas for improvement, serving as a valuable tool for states to identify areas to improve their export preparedness.

The report also provides detailed state profiles of select states, and scorecards which can be helpful for states and UTs to assess their strengths and weaknesses in terms of export preparedness relative to their peers.

Based on the findings, the report offers key recommendations to drive policy action at sub national level, which can help further strengthen India’s position as an export powerhouse.

The recommendations highlight the importance of leveraging India’s diversity, and encouraging innovation and productivity enhancements.

The report also emphasises the need for continued evaluation and inclusion of indicators to ensure the index’s relevance in capturing the evolving export landscape.

In conclusion, the report aims to propel India towards achieving the target of merchandise exports valued over $1 trillion by harnessing its diverse strengths, fostering regional competitiveness, and positioning itself as a key player in the global south export market.

Improving collaboration between states, and state and Centre, India can achieve sustained export growth and leverage it for development in the country, said the report.

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