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Scope of market access initiative widened

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For organising trade festival of India in abroad

New Delhi , Dec. 8

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Friday cleared the proposed amendments to the market access initiative (MAI) scheme to widen its scope to include assistance for organising trade festival of India in select centres abroad, capacity building and undertaking trade-related studies. An official release issued here said the extant scheme was formulated on focused product and focused country approach in order to evolve specific strategy for specific market and specific product.

Now the scope of the scheme is being widened to include among others, organising trade festival of India to promote "Brand India" by showcasing India's strength in services such as health (Ayurveda and Yoga), Indian cuisine, tourism and culture, besides merchandise.

It also includes capacity building and training upgradation, improvement of laboratories, universities, research bodies for fulfilling sanitary and phytosanitary measures, and providing assistance for all trade-related studies including free trade agreement/regional trade agreement, and developing foreign trade facilitation, as well as to support cottage and handicraft units. Moreover, Indian missions abroad, national level bodies such as IITS, IIMM, National Institute of Design and National Institute of Fashion Technology and research institutions, universities and recognised labs would also now be eligible for assistance under the modified MAI.

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