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Ministry assures help to Coir Board

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Lack of infrastructure has dented Kerala's export market

Booming sector
`Focus on few countries for exports so that business can be maximised.'
The objective of workshop was to explore business in emerging markets.
The Coir Board and Exim Bank have also signed an MoU.

Kochi , Aug. 24

The Union Ministry of Small Scale Industries & Agro and Rural Industries has promised all out help to the Coir Board to carry out its tasks and planned programmes.

Inaugurating a national workshop organised by the Coir Board, in association with the Exim Bank of India in Alappuzha, Mr Anupam Das Gupta, Secretary, Ministry of SSI and ARI, said that the Board should concentrate on a few countries for doing exports so that business could be maximised through adroit planning, instead of aiming at a pantheon of countries where coir exports made miniscule showing.

Exploring business

He exhorted the Board to work out a plan schedule so that adequate funds under the 11th Five Year Plan could be sought. The objective of the workshop was to explore business in emerging markets, for penetration in the nascent markets, as well as to highlight the ways and means of reaching out to competitive ones.

Mr K.T. Chacko, Director General of Foreign Trade, said cumbersome procedures of licensing were abolished and imports were sought to be linked to exports by means of market mechanism. Outlining the changes brought about by the DGFT for issuance of IE Code, he said that a person applying for the IE Code could get the same online. After authentic physical verification, the IE Code would be dispatched to the applicant within 48 hours.

Poor infrastructure

The Coir Board Chairman, Mr A.C. Jose, said disparities in taxation structure and high turnaround time both due to manufacturing systems and lack of facilitating infrastructure were denting Kerala's export prowess.

He demanded that the infrastructure disadvantages needed to be urgently addressed by the Government as the exporters in the State were encountering several difficulties in the hub port of Colombo, where they are usually given lower priority for the transhipment of cargo.

Mr T.C. Venkat Subramanian, Chairman and Managing Director, Exim Bank, announced that the Bank had given priority for coir industry for its support. Even though there was volume increase in exports, unit value realisation was on the decrease.

Mr Subramaniam underscored the need for the industry to go in for value addition. He assured that the Exim Bank would finance a warehouse if set up abroad by the stakeholders of the coir industry.

The Coir Board and Exim Bank have also signed an MoU, which among other things provide for mutual cooperation in undertaking joint consultancy studies, undertaking common initiatives such as productivity enhancement, value-addition, market linkages, capacity building, entrepreneurship development, exchange of information on international markets, organising workshops, aid, support and facilitate increased collaboration and export facilitations.

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