New Delhi, 25th November 2023: India SME Forum (ISF), India’s largest non-governmental, not-for-profit organization for small and medium businesses, hosted a National Summit to launch IndiaXports 2.0, India’s first mass export development program, aimed to empower 200,000 first-time exporters to enter international markets by fostering export readiness and capacity building.
Supporting the launch of the initiative, Shri Narayan Rane, Hon’ble Union, Minister of MSME, Government of India, said, “I extend my heartiest congratulations to India SME Forum for their commendable efforts in fostering the growth of MSMEs. The launch of IndiaXports 2.0 is a significant step towards empowering first-time exporters, aligning perfectly with the government’s vision for industrial expansion and promoting global trade. E-commerce exports play a pivotal role in enhancing customer base and increasing the scale of small businesses in India, and initiatives like these are crucial in enhancing their capabilities and contribution to India’s economic development.” The pilot project for the initiative was also supported by the minister in 2021 which witnessed participation from over 8 lakh entrepreneurs, 20,000 subscribers, 42,000+ help desk queries, and mentoring for 1190 MSMEs to overcome export challenges.
Mr. Ateesh Kumar Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSMEsaid, “The Udyam portal has witnessed an impressive MSME registration of approximately 2-2.5 crore, increasing daily by thousands. However, when we look at the number of MSMEs actively engaged in exports, it stands at around 1.93 lakh, revealing the unrealised potential in MSME exports. Recognizing a knowledge gap in conducting business via e-commerce platforms, the government has initiated outreach and awareness programs to address this challenge, paving the way for greater MSME involvement in global trade.”
Mr. Santosh Sarangi, IAS, Director General of Foreign Trade, said, “To achieve our ambitious $2 trillion export target, a concerted effort is required in both goods and services. The positive correlation between export growth and increased per capita GDP is evident in successful export-driven economies like Korea, Germany, and Vietnam, where a significant portion of their GDP stems from exports. India, with an export share of around 21-22% of GDP, aspires to reach 30%, necessitating proactive interventions in both the public and private sectors. Central to this endeavor is the pivotal role that MSMEs must play in enhancing manufacturing competitiveness, coupled with an unwavering commitment to uncompromising quality and standards. These factors collectively position MSMEs as key catalysts in propelling India toward becoming a major player in global exports.”
Mr. Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Public Policy, Amazon, said, “E-commerce exports is fast emerging as a shining symbol of global integration, simplifying the complexities of international commerce for countless businesses, regardless of their scale or geographic presence. This digital transformation is democratizing the narrative of cross-border commerce. The once daunting area of international trade is now a level playing field where MSMEs are venturing beyond domestic shores, showcasing the richness and diversity of Indian products to customers globally. At Amazon, we continue to focus on the three pillars of growth – improving selection, bringing vale and building a fast and reliable delivery experience. Interestingly, the number of sellers on Amazon.in has more than doubled since Jan 2020. That points to the entrepreneurial spirit of Indian small businesses. On our Exports program, we have sellers from 200+ cities across the country. Last year, it was reported that 555 districts in India had at least one new start-up.”
Mr. Vinod Kumar, President, India SME Forum, said, “In our pursuit to elevate India’s export capabilities, the launch of ‘IndiaXports 2.0’ marks a transformative milestone in empowering MSMEs. This no-cost initiative reaffirms our dedication to nurturing export capabilities and enhancing entrepreneurial capacities. We are resolute in our mission to propel MSMEs onto the global stage, creating a landscape of opportunities and driving economic prosperity through strategic initiatives and collective efforts.” He further added that, “The lack of exposure to global markets inhibits entrepreneurs from exploring international opportunities. ‘IndiaXports 2.0’ aims to change this paradigm, encouraging MSMEs to broaden their horizons and participate in the global marketplace.”
The event witnessed participation from esteemed guests such as Mr. Alok Chaturvedi, Former IAS, Former Director General of Foreign Trade, Mr. Mohammad Moin Afaque, Deputy Director General of Foreign Trade, Dr. Radhicka Kapoor, Professor, ICRIER, Mr. Bipin Sapra, Partner, E&Y, Ms. Nikita Singla, Consultant & Trade Facilitation, World Bank, Mr. Ashish Chandra, Co-Founder, GlobalFair, Mr. Rahul Ahluwalia, Founding Director, Foundation for Economic Development, Ms. Deepali Agrawal, Chief General Manager, Exim Bank, Mr. Ajay Srivastava, Former Addl. DGFT, Mr. Dinkar Singh, Director, Public Affairs- Indian Subcontinent, UPS, and Dr. Amit Kapoor, Chairman, Institute for Competitiveness.
The discussions at the event also addressed challenges like regulatory compliance and competition while proposing strategies for economic growth and underscored the pivotal role of regulatory changes in fostering exponential export growth, emphasizing innovation, quality standards, certifications, and the role of soft power in promoting e-commerce exports.