India's Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma Tuesday said a pick up in exports since November 2009 will help curtail the shortfall created by a negative trend in the previous months, but would still leave a gap of USD 20 billion compared to 2008-09.
"We have suffered losses.
(but) the shortfall will be made up to a large extent," Sharma said at a Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry function here.
He said exports have pulled back from a negative trend from November 2009.
"We have consolidated since then and every month exports are becoming stronger," he said.
Merchandise exports aggregated to USD 132 billion during April-January this fiscal.
The monthly shipments average at USD 14 billion from the time the trend became positive in November 2009.
The demand for Indian goods had drastically fallen from October 2008 due to the global economic slowdown.
Even if further improvement is seen in the February-March period, exports in the current fiscal could end up between USD 160-165 billion against USD 185 billion in 2008-09.
He said global studies suggest the world merchandise trade is likely to contract between 12 and 16 per cent this year.
Sharma also said global investors are getting better returns from India and Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) inflows this fiscal are likely to equal those of 2008-09.
The country had attracted USD 27.
3 billion foreign investment in the last financial year.
Replying to another query, Sharma said the industry has started investing in the food processing sector.
As per estimates, about 40 per cent of 130 million tonnes of fruits and vegetables produced in the country annually perish due to lack of storage and processing facilities.