Need for a global market intelligence system for MSMEs at no cost
India's economic environment is currently on the mend, aided by the MSME sector's continued expansion and transformation. Exports will be a critical pillar for India's economic recovery and subsequent growth in a post-COVID 19 landscape, as the Hon'ble Prime Minister and Union Commerce Minister correctly identified. As a result, Foreign Trade Policy (FTP), the fundamental framework of policy and strategy for encouraging exports and trade, will play a critical role in laying the groundwork for exports that will enable India to expand worldwide markets for Indian goods.
Traditional, offline, and B2B exports are mostly served by the current strategy. MSMEs will be able to compete with items and services offered by overseas competition if they use B2C e-commerce exports more frequently. E-commerce has already shown tremendous promise in enabling exporters to reach out to global customers more effectively by leveraging pre-existing infrastructure and a reliable supply chain. Indian MSMEs can gain major financial benefits and promote export-driven growth as more consumer-facing Indian enterprises undergo digitalization. As a result, it's critical to create a policy that encourages MSMEs to use e-commerce as a conduit for export and lowers entrance barriers.
Given the unique business model of e-commerce companies, the Foreign Trade Policy 2021-2026 must play a key role in assisting local products in gaining access to foreign markets via e-commerce. In this regard, experts have compiled a list of specific recommendations that should be included in a chapter on e-commerce exports:
- Increase the public's understanding of e-commerce exports.
- Implement end-to-end digitization for operations involving exports.
- For e-commerce exports, develop specific logistics skills.
- Simplify e-commerce export compliance and regulatory requirements.
- To assist the expansion of e-commerce exports, develop long-term capabilities.
FTP should use existing Special Economic Zones to build dedicated e-commerce export zones (SEZs). We need to create specialised low-cost, trackable logistics solutions through channels like India Post, and extend the benefits of programmes like the Market Access Initiative (MAI) to e-commerce exporters.
“The necessity of the hour is to focus on a chapter dedicated to end-to-end digitalization, enhance knowledge and logistic capabilities, and promote expansion prospects for MSMEs,” Dr. Aruna Sharma IAS, Former Secretary, Government of India, said. This will boost the economy's growth pace and produce long-term jobs. The FTP should be re-evaluated with the goal of increasing exports. Any issue in the policy that causes a stumbling block must be addressed.”
“The current times necessitate the need for a global market intelligence system to provide an overview of the market positions of various countries and their policies as a way to offer free of cost information to MSMEs,” said Smt Alka Arora, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India. The success of Amazon is also built on data, which indicates the importance of such a platform. We're collaborating with a number of groups to assist MSMEs in becoming exporters by providing them with the necessary certifications.”
“MSMEs in India currently account for almost half of the country's exports while contributing to over one third of India's GDP,” stated Shri Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum. Small enterprises will have access to global markets and the scalability to achieve exponential development if they have easy access to cross-border trade. If the government is to realise the objective of the Hon'ble Prime Minister and expand worldwide markets for Indian products, we must include e-commerce in the FTP. As a result, we humbly submit.”
As India draws closer to realising the government's vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat, the performance of MSMEs and the sector's contribution to exports would be critical in moving the country toward economic self-sufficiency. As a result, it is imperative that international trade policies be re-engineered in order to speed up trade across the country.