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How Indian diplomatic missions play key role in driving country's export targets

How Indian diplomatic missions play key role in driving country's export targets

How Indian diplomatic missions play key role in driving country's export targets
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By Parikshit Luthra  Apr 1, 2022 6:20:09 PM IST (Updated)

While driving trade ties has always been an important mandate for diplomats, the government has recently started fixing trade targets for each Indian mission.

India recently achieved the milestone of $400 billion in exports, the highest ever exports in any financial year. While the Ministry of Commerce, DPIIT and different ministries have been focusing extensively on increasing the competitiveness of Indian manufactured products, Indian embassies have been playing a critical role in driving the country's export growth.

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Over the last few years, the Indian embassies and India's commerce ministry have worked closely to address trade disputes, negotiate trade deals and organising export promotion events. Each mission has a commercial and economic wing, which has the primary role of facilitating trade ties. The Indian embassy in a foreign nation is the sole point of contact for the host nation as well as the Indian government and private sector on trade matters. To cite an example, the Indian Embassy in United States addressed 15,000 queries from Indian exporters and held 100 export promotion events last year.
While driving trade ties has always been an important mandate for diplomats, the government has recently started fixing trade targets for each Indian mission.
"Last year the department of commerce had given targets to each mission on increasing trade and organising export promotion activities. There is also a pro-forma that missions have to fill and submit to the commerce ministry and the Ministry of External Affairs on targets achieved," said an official requesting anonymity.
India is working on trade deals with a number of countries including Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom (UK), the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the European Union (EU). USA, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Singapore are among the top 25 export destinations that are important for India's export growth.
Out of the total $400 billion export basket, close to $70 billion would be exports to the United States. In fact, FY22 would be the highest ever export volumes to the United States. Last year after the trade policy forum, India and the US reached an agreement on export of mangoes and pomegranates from India.
Sources say, the Indian Ambassador to US has met more than 100 CEOs of Fortune 500 companies and more than 40 governors, to urge them to source more from India.
Speaking to CNBC-TV18 about India's trade ties with US, Indian envoy Taranjit Sandhu said, "From traditional sectors such as apparels, precious stones, and maritime products, India’s exports to US have expanded to include new sectors such as pharmaceuticals, electronics, and machinery and have reached historic highs."
He further said, "In my conversations with leading American CEOs, they have been forthcoming in increasing their sourcing from India and enhancing investments in India. This is in line with PM's vision of Atma Nirbharta and Make in India for the world."
Ahead of the signing of the CEPA between India and the UAE, the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi had been regularly engaging with local businesses and importers in UAE for the last one year.
"We have been engaging with importers of gems and jewellery, textile, sports goods, engineering goods and footwear. We have also been engaging with members of the Dubai chamber of commerce and the Abu Dhabi chamber of commerce to get a realistic assessment of the potential tariff lines on which we need to work together as a part of CEPA," said India's Ambassador to UAE Sanjay Sudhir told CNBC TV18.
Every embassy is tasked with organising trade outreach meetings, events to highlight India's flagship schemes and also carry out market research for the Indian government back home.
"Recently there is a focus on organising state days abroad, in order to promote products of specific Indian states," said an official.
Indian missions also play a critical role in procuring raw materials for Indian manufacturers. During the first and second wave of COVID-19, every Indian mission was tasked with sourcing raw materials required for vaccine production in India, sourcing of key medicines used in the treatment of coronavirus, oxygen concentrators, oxygen manufacturing units and personal protection kits.
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