Vijayawada: Chief Minister Y.S Jagan Mohan Reddy on Tuesday said that despite a global economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic, exports from Andhra Pradesh has grown by 19.4 per cent in the past couple of years.

He said the state jumped to the fourth position in the country in 2020-21 with a 5.8 per cent contribution to national exports from the ninth position in 2018-19. Andhra Pradesh currently contributes 5.8% of national exports. Jagan aspires to double this figure by 2030.

Addressing the inaugural session of the two-day Vanijya Utsavam (Andhra Pradesh Trade and Exports Carnival) organized jointly by the state and Central governments in Vijayawada, Jagan said that the COVID-19 pandemic had hit the economy hard and triggered many challenges. The country has seen a contraction of 3.38% in gross tax revenue collections which declined from Rs. 20.80 lakh crore in 2018-19 to Rs. 20.10 lakh crore in 2019-20.

"The country's GDP growth in constant terms was 6.3% in 2018-19 and dropped to 4% in 19-20 and to -7.3% in 2020-21. The country's exports have also shrunk by 11.6% from US$ 330 billion to US$ 292 billion over the last two financial years. This was the plight of the country during these two years. Yet, Andhra Pradesh exports have grown by 19.4% from US$ 14.1 billion to US$ 16.8 billion," Jagan said.

He added, "Our GSDP contraction was only 2.58% in the COVID year 2020-21 while the country's GDP was 7.3%. This performance stands testimony to our belief that right infrastructure and enabling policies are very important for industrial development and growth of exports."

Investments and jobs

Jagan said that 16,311 MSMEs were established with an investment of Rs. 5,204 crore and created 1.13 lakh jobs. During the last two years, 68 large and mega industries have been facilitated to commence with an investment of Rs. 30,175 crore and created 46,119 job opportunities. Also, 62 large and mega projects are under active implementation with a total investment of Rs. 36,384 crore that will create 76,960 jobs. "In the last one year alone, we have approved 10 mega projects with investment intent of Rs. 26,391 crore and employment potential for 55,024 jobs," he added.

Regarding other projects in the pipeline, Jagan said that the state is setting up a greenfield steel plant in Kadapa with an outlay of Rs. 13,500 crore and in partnership with GAIL, it plans to set up a gas distribution network.

The CM added that the state's port capacity will increase by 65 million tonnes per annum with the completion of three ports in Bhavanapadu, Machilipatnam, and Ramayapatnam. The state's current port capacity is 254 million tonnes per annum.

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