Sehgal said African countries and those from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) were dissatisfied with China's performance last year as it did not deliver goods on time and prices shot up radically.
According to him, these countries were now looking at reducing engineering imports from China and increase sourcing from India. 'This is a major thing,' he said.
Sehgal, however, conceded China would remain the key player.
'For China, the main problem is economies of scale. Unless you give bulk order to China, they are not satisfied, whereas in India 80 percent of our engineering goods are from the SME (small and medium enterprises) sector. Small quantity of orders are not a problem here,' he said.
'This downturn is actually an opportunity for India, which we should encash.'
India accounts for just 1.4 percent of global engineering goods trade.
In 2007-08, its earned $33.3 billion from engineering exports, and $22 billion in the first five months of the current fiscal.
India's engineering exports to ASEAN region rose from $12.6 billion in 2006-07 to $15.7 billion in 2007-08, and to Africa, this incresed from $3 billion to $3.9 billion.
Engineering goods exporters are betting big on South Africa to shore up revenue. The optimism stems from the favourable response to their products from African buyers at the recent Indian engineering exposition in Johannesberg, South Africa.
The exposition, which had been organised by the Engineering Export Promotion Council (EEPC) for the 17th time and was branded as Indee-2007, instantly generated orders worth $2.41 million for Indian engineering products. Bulk of the products were booked by South African companies.
With enquiries still pouring in from buyers in South Africa, who had a taste of Indian products at the Indee-2007, participating Indian companies expect that total value of business...