The Plastics Export Promotion Council (PLEXCONCIL) is confident that India's plastics exports will cross $8 billion mark due to the positive growth trend. "The current trend in India's plastic exports seems highly encouraging and we are confident of crossing plastics exports to cross $8 billion mark in FY18 showing a 6 per cent increase from $7.56 billion in FY17. India's plastic exports to United States, the largest destination, continues to tread higher and nearing the coveted $1 billion mark," PLEXCONCIL chairman Pradip Thakkar told reporters here. During the first half of FY18, cumulative value of India's plastics exports witnessed a positive growth of around 9.5 per cent amounting to $3.49 billion as against $3.19 billion during the same period last year. "We are working with the government on a strategy in order to increase the country's plastic exports as the global export market for plastics of $800 billion presents a huge opportunity. The Council has taken up all important issues post the GST-era, with the concerned Ministry for remedial action in terms of fast tracking of IGST refunds; exemption of merchant exporters from GST on procurement against bond, clear procedure for third party exports under the GST regime; using of Chapter 3 incentive scheme scrips & advance authorization for debit of full import duty and restoring of export benefits to export oriented units," Thakkar said. During September 2017, India exported plastics worth $630.93 million, up 17.3 per cent from $538.01 million in September 2016. The country exported plastics to 185 countries in September 2017.
United States, China and Italy were the top three buyers of plastics from India. To increase its global footprint, the industry has added countries like Sao Tom, Belize, Samoa, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, South Sudan, Micronesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, and Grenada. Plastics exports to these countries were valued at $0.18 million in September 2017. The country's plastics industry also offers immense potential in terms of capacity, infrastructure and skilled manpower. India is currently ranked among the top five consumers of polymers in the world and has 30,000 plus plastic processing units employing over four million people across the country. Plastics are among the fastest-growing industries in the country experiencing a double digit growth rate on an average. At this juncture, it is important to reiterate that the Indian plastics industry is dominated by the MSME sector particularly the SSI, which urgently require government support in the form of Technology Upgradation Fund Scheme (TUFS) in order to replace their obsolete machineries. However, due to the fragmented nature of the plastics industry, slower adaptation to newer technologies, and other restraining factors, the industry has not been able to increase its share in the global export market for plastics, Thakkar said.