Institutional Infrastructure for export promotion in India

Institutions engaged in export effort fall in six distinct tiers. At the top is the Department of Commerce of the Ministry of Commerce and industry. This is the main organization to formulate and guide India’s trade policy. At the second tier, there are deliberative and consultative organizations to ensure that export problems are comprehensively dealt with after mutual discussions between the Government and the Industry. At the third tier are the commodity specific organizations which deal with problems relating to individual commodities and/or groups of commodities. The fourth tier consists of service institutions which facilitate and assist the exporters to expand their operations and reach out more effectively to the World Markets. The fifth tier consists of Government trading organizations specifically set up to handle export/import of specified commodities and to supplement the efforts of the private enterprise in the field of export promotion and import management. Agencies for export promotion at the State level constitute the Sixth tier.

The Department of Commerce is the primary government agency responsible for evolving and directing foreign trade policy ad program, including commercial relations with other countries, Various trade promotional measures and development and regulation of certain export-oriented industries.

Apart from the Finance and Administrative Divisions, the principal functional divisions of the Department of Commerce are Economic Divisions, Trade policy Division, Export Products Division, Export Services Division and Export Industries Division.

The main task of the Trade Policy Division is to keep abreast of the developments in the international organizations like UNCTAD, WTO, the Economic Commission for Europe, Africa, Latin America and Asia and Far East (ESCAP). It is also responsible for India’s relations with the European Economic Community, European Free trade Association Latin American Free Trade Area, other regional groupings and the Commonwealth. It also looks after the generalized system of preferences and non-tariffs barriers.

The Foreign Trade Territorial Division is entrusted with the work relating to the development of trade with different countries and regions of the world. This Division also handles matters pertaining to State trading a barter deals, organization of trade fairs and exhibitions, commercial publicity abroad, etc. It also maintains contacts with Indian Trade Missions abroad and attends to the connected administrative work including the protocol functions.

The Export Products Division pays attention to the problem connected with production, generation of surplus and development of markets for the various products under its jurisdiction. These products include plantations, marine products, chemicals, plastics, leather and leather goods, sports goods, films, steel, metals, engineering products, minerals and ores, coal, petroleum products, mica, salt, etc. Although in administrative terms the responsibility for these product remains with ministries concerned, this Division keeps itself in close touch with them to ensure that production is sufficient to realize the full export potential besides meeting the home consumption. This Division is also responsible for the working of export organizations and corporations dealing with above commodities and products.

The Export Industries Division is responsible for development and regulation of rubber, tobacco and cardamom. The division is also responsible for handling export promotion activities relating to textiles, woolens, handlooms, readymade garments, silk and cellulose fibers, jute ad jute products, handicrafts, coir and coir products.

The Export Services Division deals with the problem of export assistance including import replenishment licensing, cash assistance, export credit, export houses, Marketing Development Assistance and grants, transport, free trade zones, dry ports, quality control and pre-shipment inspection, joint ventures abroad and capacity creation in export-oriented industries including assistance to import capital goods and essential raw materials.

The Economic Divisions, headed by the Economic Adviser, is responsible for the formulation of export strategies, export planning, periodic appraisal and review of policies and also for maintaining coordination and constant contacts with the other Divisions as well as with various organizations which have been set up under the commerce Department to assist the export drive. This Division also monitors work relating to technical assistance, management services for export and overseas investments by Indian entrepreneurs.

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