India’s Ambitious Push to Boost E-commerce Exports through Dedicated Hubs

The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is collaborating with the Department of Revenue to set up designated e-commerce hubs across the country. Currently, India’s e-commerce exports stand at a modest USD 2 billion, a stark contrast to China’s colossal USD 350 billion. This initiative aims to streamline the process for online export shipments, significantly enhancing efficiency and reducing delays.

A lot of streamlining is required in this regard. We are working with the Department of Revenue to have designated e-commerce hubs so that clearance of goods happens fast.

Santosh Kumar Sarangi, Director General of Foreign Trade

Sarangi elaborated that these hubs will feature dedicated customs and security checks, enabling parcels to proceed through a green channel at airports without further inspections. This strategy aligns with best practices observed in leading e-commerce markets globally. The hubs will be developed and operated by private entities, while the government will oversee security and customs clearances to ensure regulatory compliance.

The proposed e-commerce hubs will expedite the clearance process and offer a comprehensive suite of services including warehousing, returns processing, labeling, product testing, and repackaging. This public-private partnership aims to establish a robust infrastructure that supports efficient and scalable e-commerce exports.

Ajay Sahai (Director General of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations) compared the proposed hubs to bonded zones, historically facilitating traditional exports. By adopting this model, the hubs can create a seamless process for e-commerce exports, significantly reducing logistical hurdles and improving turnaround times.

Experts believe that with appropriate policy reorientation, India’s e-commerce exports could potentially reach USD 350 billion by 2030. Establishing dedicated e-commerce hubs is seen as a pivotal step toward achieving this ambitious target.

The government’s initiative reflects a proactive approach to tap into the burgeoning global e-commerce market. By addressing current bottlenecks and creating a conducive environment for online businesses, India aims to position itself as a major player in the international e-commerce landscape.

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