Gujarat, for the second consecutive year, has topped the Niti Aayog's Export Preparedness Index 2021 which is aimed at assessing the readiness of the states in terms of their export potential and performance.
Gujarat was followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Telengana, according to the government think tank's report.
Union territories and states like Lakshadweep, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Ladakh and Meghalaya were placed at the bottom.
The index, prepared in partnership with the Institute of Competitiveness, can be used by states and Union Territories (UTs) to benchmark their performance against their peers and analyse potential challenges to develop better policy mechanisms to foster export-led growth at the sub-national level.
The ranking is based on four main pillars: policy, business ecosystem, export ecosystem and export performance, and 11 sub-pillars like export promotion policy and business environment.
The index's primary goal is to instil competition among all states (coastal, landlocked, Himalayan and UTs/city-states) to bring about favourable policies, ease the regulatory framework, create necessary infrastructure and assist in identifying strategic recommendations for improving export competitiveness.
Releasing the report, NITI Aayog vice chairman Rajiv Kumar said growth of India's exports is 36 per cent, while the world trade growth is 30 per cent.
"After a very long time, we will see India's share in world merchandise trade increasing from 1.6 to 1.7 per cent," he said, adding, sectors which contributed in the growth include vehicles, electrical machinery, iron and steel.
Kumar said that the value of global trade is $24 trillion, of which India's export is worth $400 billion, so there is "massive" potential.
He called for a target to quadruple India's share in the global trade in the next ten years.
He also urged all the states to have district export plans and promotion committees.
The ranking showed that there are some states which can do much better by preparing an institutional and policy framework for exports, Kumar said, adding that some of the performances of missions abroad can be measured in terms of export expansion in their markets.
The vice chairman also suggested that the exim (export-import) policy of the country should cater to different categories of states "because I think that is what will take our exports from landlocked and from double landlocked states like Punjab or Himalayan states, and make that effort and bring them at par with other states".
Commerce secretary BVR Subrahmanyam said that exports have done "extremely" well and crossed $400 billion-target ahead of schedule despite issues like shortage of containers, shipping freights, shortage of chips and semiconductors.
"About 18 per cent of the economy is merchandise exports ...I think we should be aiming at something like 25 per cent of the GDP to be actually traded," he said, adding, the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) comes out with ODOP (One District One Product) programme which has actually created a buzz all around and "we have actually built on that to have district export hub initiative which we are trying to convert into a scheme".
He said that though states like Gujarat and Maharashtra are performing greatly, there is a need to push exports from regions like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
"We will soon be launching a portal which will have export data -- country and commodity wise... It will also provide a real time data of exports from states and possibly from districts. I think we should get it going in April," Subrahmanyam said.
He added that there are gaps in data right now.
Citing an example, he said currently a lot of export is credited to Kandla or Nhava Sheva or Kakinada, but those goods may be originating elsewhere.
"We are trying to improve that... so that it also tells us the source, so that we can actually trace the export back... we will be coming with that in a month or two," he added.
NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant emphasised that the second edition of the index will be a significant catalyst for promoting competitive federalism and a fair contest among states and UTs in the global export landscape.
States and UTs have to take a lead, if exports have to grow at a sustained basis for a longer period of time, Kant said.
Around 70 per cent of exports have been dominated by five states -- Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Telangana, he added.