New Delhi: Buoyed by 37.5 percent rise in overseas shipments in the last fiscal, the Government on Tuesday set a goal of more than doubling India's exports to USD 500 billion in the next three years.

"We must aim for more than a doubling of exports in three years to USD 500 billion. This is achievable, with a determined effort. More importantly, we cannot afford any less than this," said Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma here.

For achieving the USD 500 billion mark, the country's exports should grow annually by 26.7 per cent.

Sharma said the strategy hinges on aggressive marketing of 'Brand India' and reducing transaction cost to make exports more competitive.

The export drive would be led by sectors like engineering, gems and jewellery, chemicals and textiles.

As against the target USD 200 billion, the merchandise shipments aggregated USD 246 billion in 2010-11 despite problems in some European markets.

The surge in exports came mainly from the US, some western European markets and new destinations like Latin America and Africa.

The strategy paper (2011-12 to 2013-14) further said that increased imports are unavoidable for feeding an economy which aspires to grow by 9-10 per cent.

"We have, therefore, no option but to focus on higher export growth, and devise a strategy for rapidly increasing merchandise exports to ensure that the Balance of Trade (BoT) and Current Account Deficit (CAD) remain within manageable limits," it said.