Commerce min inks pact with Amazon to leverage 'Districts as Export Hubs' initiative

Commerce min inks pact with Amazon to leverage 'Districts as Export Hubs' initiative

New Delhi, Nov 23 (PTI) The commerce ministry on Thursday said it has inked an agreement with US-based Amazon to provide training to MSMEs in 20 identified districts in areas such as making digital catalogues and tax-related issues with a view to promoting exports through e-commerce medium.

The capacity building session will allow MSMEs to learn about imaging, digital cataloguing of their products, and tax advisory, among others, it said in a statement.

The ministry's arm Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is also in discussions with various other e-commerce platforms like Flipkart/Walmart, Ebay, Rivexa, Shopclues, Shiprocket, DHL Express to have similar collaboration in other districts of the country under the initiative.

DGFT deals with import and export-related issues of the country.

'To enable micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and boost e-commerce exports from the country, DGFT is collaborating with the various e-commerce players to leverage the Districts as Export Hubs initiative and promote e-commerce exports from the country,' the ministry said in a statement.

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,' it said, adding that the core objective is to leverage e-commerce platforms to support local exporters, manufacturers, and MSMEs in reaching potential international buyers.

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.

'Under the MoU with Amazon India, 20 districts have been identified for such capacity building and handholding sessions,' it added.

This will supplement DGFT's efforts to handhold, and promote new and first-time exporters and other MSME producers to export from India, thereby making substantial strides towards the goal of USD 1 trillion in goods exports by the year 2030.

The MoU was signed in the presence of DGFT Santosh Sarangi.

According to the think tank Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI), India should target USD 350 billion worth of goods exported through e-commerce by 2030 and for that, the government needs to address pain points of the sector by taking steps like formulating a separate policy.

India's current e-commerce export numbers remain far below their potential, and at present, e-commerce exports account for only USD 2 billion, less than 0.5 per cent of the country's total goods export basket, the GTRI said.

Commenting on the agreement, Bhupen Wakankar, Director of Global Trade at Amazon India, said, 'Our focus remains on making exports simpler and more accessible to businesses of all sizes as we work toward our goal of enabling $20 billion in cumulative e-commerce exports from India by 2025'. PTI RR MR RR BAL BAL

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