Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Feb 12, 2004
Industry & Economy - Foreign Trade
Commerce Dept `ready' to help industries with Rs 200-cr corpus
Pune , Feb. 11
THE Department of Commerce has a whopping Rs 200-crore corpus available next year to help industries explore new export markets and take the `Made in India' brand into the big league abroad.
"We have the money available and it is up to the industry to come forward with proposals so that we can help them significantly increase their market shares in highly developed markets such as the US and Europe'', says Mr S. Ramasundaram, Joint Secretary of the Department of Commerce.
The Rs 200-crore corpus is divided into into. First is a Rs 140-crore `Market Access Initiative', wherein the Ministry of Commerce will help the industry concerned study extensively the markets abroad for products that India makes but has not found large market share.
For instance, India has a miniscule less than one per cent share in the $5-billion US market for plastic goods such as buckets and containers, despite the fact that the country has a thriving industry here.
The industry is right now getting help from the MAI scheme to help it significantly increase its market shares there. "In the next three to four years, the plastic promotion initiative will aim to help the Indian players get at least five per cent share of the market in the US'', Mr Ramasundaram says.
Among other things, the scheme will undertake comprehensive study of various countries, their import profiles and help Indian industry to get a strong foothold in these markets.
The corpus for the initiative will go up by 10 crore every year for the next three years by when Mr Ramasundaram hopes Brand India will be a familiar one in key global markets. Proposals have already started coming in for the scheme.
The Mumbai-based Chemexil is availing itself of the scheme to increase the industry's market share for generic formulations in the European markets as also another scheme for the increase of exports of retrovirals for AIDS treatment to Africa.
The Council for Leather Exports is also availing itself of the scheme to increase the country's market share for leather goods in the lucrative global markets.
The Department of Commerce has also a Market Develop Initiative with Rs 60-crore budget next year to help Indian industry explore non-traditional markets this year.
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