Economy

FIEO to work with Kerala govt to double its exports

V Sajeev Kumar Kochi | Updated on July 04, 2019 Published on July 04, 2019

Israr Ahmed, Regional Chairman-Southern Region, FIEO

Federation of Indian Exports Organisations (FIEO) intends to work closely with the Kerala government to double the State’s share of exports to over six per cent in the next five years. Kerala’s exports during 2018-19 was $8.1 billion, which is 2.4 per cent of India’s exports.

“We need to see how we can double this figure. The agri sector is going to be the biggest contributor to exports”, said Israr Ahmed, Regional Chairman-Southern Region, FIEO.

In an interaction with BusinessLine here on Thursday, he requested the State government to look into the possibilities of augmenting exports of agro products such as cashew, spices, rubber, marine products and tea, which are not under the sanctioned list, to China and Iran.

Direct exports

According to him, direct exports from Kerala to Iran is negligible even though cashew, spices, pharma equipments have good potential. Ahmed said several products exported to GCC from Kerala find their way to Iran. If proper attention is given, this can be channelised and exporters can derive better benefits.

Asked on the challenges for exports to Iran amidst US sanctions, he said Iran is an opportunity for India, as the bilateral trade was $13.8 billion in 2017-18. However, the actual trade will be in the range of $20-25 billion, which is conducted indirectly due to sanctions. “We believe this can go up to $30 billion, if there is a barter mechanism for direct trade”, he said.

However, there are issues pertaining to payments, shipments, exchange of documents and insurance that will have to be addressed, he added.

Lack of proper marketing is hindering export growth and he emphasised the need for bringing more international fairs to Kerala to leverage the opportunities. “ For Kerala to increase its share, there is a need for giving more focus on MSME exports, helping them in marketing and showcasing their products abroad”, he added.

The current support extended through various schemes are grossly inadequate and FIEO urged the Commerce Ministry to come up with an export development fund with a corpus of 0.5 per cent of export value for each State, so that MSME's can aggressively participate in international expos and trade shows.

Kerala is also one of the major foreign exchange earner through tourism. There is a huge potential for the State to double the revenue from the sector. The export sector can also generate huge employment opportunities similar to neighbouring States such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, he said.

Considering the creation of employment as the biggest challenge being faced by the country, he said FIEO requested the government to provide income tax relief to units which provide additional employment in export sector. Such a scheme will help workers to move from informal employment to formal employment. Incentives may be provided based on twin criteria of incremental growth in exports and incremental growth in workers so that while on the one hand exports are increased, on the other, the employment intensive units also get a boost.

Published on July 04, 2019

A letter from the Editor


Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Sincerely,

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.