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Districts as Export Hubs initiative to help MSMEs leverage e-commerce platforms

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, NOV 23, 2023: IN a significant move to enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and boost e-commerce exports from the country, Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India is collaborating with the various e-commerce players to leverage the Districts as Export Hubs initiative and promote e-commerce exports from the country. In first such collaboration with different e-commerce platforms, DGFT has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Amazon India.

As part of this MoU, Amazon and DGFT will co-create capacity building sessions, training and workshops for MSMEs in districts identified by the DGFT as part of the District as Exports Hub initiative outlined in the Foreign Trade Policy 2023, in a phased manner. The initiative seeks to link local producers even in rural and remote districts with global supply chains. The collaboration aims to enable exporters/MSMEs to sell their 'Made in India' products to customers internationally.

The MoU was signed in the presence of Santosh Sarangi (Additional Secretary and Director General, DGFT), Chetan Krishnaswamy (Vice President, Public Policy - Amazon) and Bhupen Wakankar (Director Global Trade - Amazon India).

The core objective of this collaboration is to leverage e-commerce platforms to support local exporters, manufacturers, and MSMEs in reaching potential international buyers. The partnership aligns with the Foreign Trade Policy 2023, which identifies e-commerce as a focus area for amplifying India's exports.

Under the collaboration, Districts will be identified by various e-commerce platforms across India, to undertake various capacity-building and outreach activities in collaboration with DGFT- Regional Authorities. These activities will focus on educating MSMEs on e-commerce exports and enabling them to sell to customers across the world. In addition, the capacity building session will allow MSMEs to learn about imaging, digital cataloging of their products, tax advisory amongst others. With this, Indian entrepreneurs can build their e-commerce exports businesses and global brands.  Under the MoU with Amazon India, 20 districts have been identified for such capacity building and handholding sessions.

DGFT is in discussion with various e-commerce platforms like Flipkart/Walmart, E-bay, Rivexa, Shopclues, Shiprocket, DHL Express etc. to have similar collaboration in other districts of the country under the Districts as Export Hubs initiative. This will supplement DGFT's efforts to hand hold, promote new and first time exporters and other MSME producers to export from India, thereby making substantial strides towards the goal of UDS 1 trillion goods exports by year 2030.


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