NEW DELHI : Smt Anupriya Patel, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, calling this the most opportune time to get into a business in India and said a lot of efforts were being made to create better opportunities for businesses.
Adding how India had implemented the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the UAE, she said FTAs with others such as the UK and the EU were being expedited. “Maybe by the year-end, we will be able to give a final shape to a few of these. The FTA with the UAE has already been operationalised. We have been making such efforts in order to create better opportunities for businesses. The environment is very conducive and we want entrepreneurs, exporters, SMEs and startups to make use of such opportunities, with special efforts of the Ministry of Commerce,” she said, while speaking at the launch of FIEO’s Indian Business Portal in the capital recently.
The portal by FIEO in partnership with GlobalLinker aims to be an international trade hub for Indian exporters and foreign buyers. It is positioned as a B2B digital marketplace to empower SME exporters, artisans and farmers to identify new markets for their products and grow their sales globally.
The minister added that the portal would help SMEs and startups to leverage the ecommerce platform and join India’s exports in the march towards becoming self-reliant.
Speaking more about the new initiative, Ajay Sahai, Director General & CEO, FIEO, said the industry body’s vision was to focus on innovation for new and value-added services to exporters. “Over a period of time, we will seek to build trade corridors with a number of countries for small businesses to trade efficiently through this partnership. The platform will facilitate the enhancement of India’s trade linkages for the International markets.”
The portal has a diverse lineup that includes consumer and lifestyle products, industrial products, business services and Geographical Indication (GI) products.
Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Director General of Foreign Trade, said India has got the talent pool and diversity to offer a range of services riding on technology, be it blockchain, machine learning or artificial intelligence. He mentioned how certain efforts have helped in opening more avenues for exporters. “In the recent past, we have recommended 100 districts with very high potential to India Post so that foreign post offices are opened in those districts. This can make our handicrafts go seamlessly to foreign markets. There have been a lot of similar initiatives to enable small and medium exporters to onboard the global marketplace,” he said.
Sarangi also said that tech-enabled governance would play a key role in determining India’s growth and competitiveness. “The government is focused on paperless, automated processing systems, simple procedures for trade players, online data exchange between departments, digital payments and acknowledgements,” he added.
The Indian Business Portal boasts of being the only marketplace that is exclusive for exporters registered in India and one that is custom-built to support exporters with a range of bespoke features. More than 14,000 SMEs are registered on the FIEO GlobalLinker platform, with over 40,000 products and services listed on the portal for the pilot.