Market overview

The Indian Government is taking steps to ensure that the country is prepared to face the ongoing challenges posed by COVID-19. Lockdown measures vary from state to state, so empowering citizens with accurate information has become of critical importance. To provide clear instructions on the local regulations in place, the Government is providing simple and accessible infographics for citizens on its official COVID-19 portal.

As the number of coronavirus cases continue to surge, several states across India have announced lockdown extensions or introduced new measures to contain the virus. While states including Maharashtra, West Bengal and Jharkhand have extended their lockdown until 31 July, others such as Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka have opted for restrictions to be applied only during weekends.

State governments in India are responsible for implementing and managing any services required to curb the spread of the virus, and have the authority to add further restrictions based on their assessment of the situation.

There are currently no restrictions on inter-state or intra-state travel of people and goods across the country. There are plans to further expand domestic flights and passenger train services, which have been operating on a limited scale to date.

Economic activity outside of containment zones is almost back to normal, with offices, shops and other commercial establishments open for business. On the other hand, schools and colleges, international passenger flights, metro rail services, cinema halls and gyms remain closed. Social, political and religious gatherings continue to be off-limits as well.

Adhering to social distancing measures and wearing of masks in public spaces is mandatory, and an overnight night curfew remains in place from 10:00pm to 5:00am.

For more information on doing business in India, visit myNZTE - our free online portal for curated, in-depth information and guidance. 

Resources for India

Export support
Last updated: 19 Jun 2020
COVID-19 Market Realities: India overview, 18 June

NZTE's Ralph Hays speaks with Mohit Khattar, CEO of Graviss Foods, for his insights on Indian e-commerce, health and wellness, fresh produce and FMCG.

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Export support
Last updated: 13 May 2020
COVID-19 update – India's e-commerce landscape, 14 May

Vivek Singhal, Associate Director at Flipkart, shares his insights on current dynamics shaping the e-commerce landscape & consumer behaviour in India.

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Export support
Last updated: 6 May 2020
COVID-19 update – Pharma in India, 7 May

NZTE Trade Commissioner Ralph Hays interviews Arshad Kokardekar, Regional Sales Manager at DFE Pharma in India.

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Economy and trade

According to a Voluntary National Review (VNR) released by Indian think tank NITI Aayog at the 2020 United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, India will need to increase its spending by an additional 6.2 percent of GDP in order to achieve its sustainable development goals (SDGs) by 2030. It will also need to upgrade its statistical systems and improve national monitoring mechanisms.

Government support

India's farmers are now able to sell their agricultural produce freely within and between States, and engage directly with potential buyers ahead of harvest. They were previously required to sell within government-regulated markets, which did not enable a fair return on prices.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has announced the extension of a free grain distribution scheme until the end of November. The goal of the scheme is to ensure food security for the most vulnerable sections of the population, which have been severely affected by the economic slowdown. The scheme will cost Rs 1.5 trillion and 800 million people are expected to benefit from it.

Supply chain, freight and logistics

Transport of cargo, freight and interstate movement of goods is now open across India. Cargo flights are fully operational with air freight arriving from a number of international and domestic destinations.

Port operations at India's major seaports have improved significantly and are expected to normalise by late July. Some congestion remains and is expected to clear in a few weeks. The Railway Ministry is continuing to help expedite container movement with dedicated trains.


Domestic flights in India have resumed since 25 May, with more flights being added as economic activity continues to pick up across the country.

Airlines are deciding on the number of flights to operate depending on supply and demand, while also factoring in restrictions or conditions put in place by several States. Some major airports have imposed a strict upper limit on number of flights that can operate from these airports.

Tradeshow and event information

Numerous international tradeshows and events have been postponed or cancelled in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Make sure you proactively check with organisers for any tradeshow or event you're scheduled to attend – conditions and regulations are changing rapidly overseas, and events may be postponed or cancelled at short notice.

Below is the status of major Indian tradeshows and events that NZTE's teams are aware of.

If you have questions about an event not listed here, please contact the organisers in the first instance or get in touch with NZTE for further advice.

  • Chem Spec India, 16 – 17 April, Mumbai – postponed to 19 – 20 August 2020.

  • 6th Smart Cities India Expo, 7 – 9 July, Delhi –postponed to 20 – 22 October 2020.

  • Pharma Tech Expo, 7 – 9 August 2020, Gandhinagar – status unknown

  • Agritech & Dairytech India, 18 – 20 August 2020, Bangalore – status unknown

  • Annapoorna ANUFOOD India, 23 – 25 September 2020, Mumbai

  • Acetech, 22 – 25 October 2020, Mumbai

  • Food Ingredients & Health Ingredients India, 22 – 24 October 2020, Mumbai

  • CII Agrotech, 5 – 8 December 2020, Chandigarh

  • Acetech, 17 – 20 December 2020, Delhi

Sector insights

As is to be expected, numerous sectors have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Below you'll find information on any COVID-19 effects across important sectors and industries in India.


India is in the final stages of establishing a green travel corridor or 'travel bubble' with the United States, which will substantially reduce quarantine and travel restrictions between the two countries. India is also considering the creation of similar green corridors with the United Kingdom, France and Germany. These are destinations where demand for travel has not diminished.

In its latest update, the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation (CAPA) projected that market consolidation in India's airline industry may occur because recapitalisation requirements for the industry have increased, from an earlier forecast of US$2.5 billion to US$3.5 billion in the financial year of 2021. Capital requirements may increase further if the industry's performance in Q3 and Q4 falls below expectations. The structure of the airline industry will likely change significantly should there be market consolidation.

According to CAPA estimates, airlines in India could lose between US$3 and US$4 billion in FY2021, the largest loss to date in India's aviation history.

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies
COVID-19 helpline for businesses
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
New Zealand Export Credit (NZEC)
MFAT Export Helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Callaghan Innovation
Ministry of Health
WorkSafe New Zealand

Global agencies

World Health Organization (WHO)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.