Boosting E-commerce Export Hubs in Government’s 100-Day Agenda

In another plan to fortify India’s position in the global e-commerce market and leverage its potential for exports, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry is poised to prioritize the establishment of e-commerce hubs as part of its 100-day agenda roadmap for the new government.

An official familiar with the matter underscored the pivotal role of these hubs in galvanizing exports through e-commerce channels. Notably, these hubs are envisioned to serve as pivotal facilitators for export clearances, offering a gamut of services including warehousing, customs clearance, returns processing, labeling, testing, and repackaging.

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), a vital arm of the Ministry, has already initiated collaborative efforts with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and other pertinent ministries to bolster exports through the burgeoning e-commerce sector. The move comes against the backdrop of burgeoning export opportunities within this domain.

The strategic impetus on e-commerce export hubs assumes heightened significance as ministries are tasked with delineating a comprehensive 100-day plan for the nascent government. With the monumental Lok Sabha polls underway, all eyes are set on the outcomes slated for June 4.

Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai elaborated on the multifaceted benefits of these hubs. Sahai emphasized their potential in mitigating re-importation challenges, a prevalent issue accounting for approximately 25% of goods in the e-commerce realm. He emphasized the imperative for private sector participation in fostering the development of these hubs.

The global e-commerce landscape presents a promising trajectory, with last year’s cross-border trade amounting to a staggering USD 800 billion, projected to escalate to USD 2 trillion by 2030.

Santosh Kumar Sarangi, the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), echoed sentiments of untapped potential within India’s e-commerce export domain. He articulated the necessity for policy realignment to nurture a conducive e-commerce ecosystem, citing China’s formidable USD 350 billion e-commerce export market juxtaposed with India’s modest USD 2 billion stature.

A report by think tank GTRI underscores India’s latent capability to burgeon into an e-commerce export powerhouse, with projections pegging potential exports at USD 350 billion by 2030. However, entrenched banking challenges pose formidable hurdles, exacerbating operational costs and impeding growth.

India’s e-commerce landscape is characterized by a vibrant tapestry of small-scale enterprises driving exports in the USD 25 to USD 1,000 bracket. An array of niche products ranging from handicrafts, art, and books to ready-made garments, imitation jewelry, and ayurveda products has found resonance in global markets owing to their distinctive artisanal allure.

With a lofty aim of achieving USD 1 trillion in merchandise exports by 2030, India has earmarked cross-border e-commerce as a pivotal conduit to realize this vision. The impending government’s fervent focus on fortifying e-commerce export hubs underscores a resolute commitment to harnessing India’s untapped potential in the global digital marketplace.

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