At a time when global online platforms, such as eBay, Amazon and Alibaba, are engaging with medium, small and micro enterprises (MSMEs) to push their products, policy-related discrepancies need to be removed to boost exports of ‘Made in India’ products via e-commerce, says a FICCI-IIFT study.

The study estimates $26 million B2C e-commerce export potential, of which $3 billion can be achieved in the next three years from 16 product categories.

“There is an urgent need for the government to recognise retail e-commerce exports as an industry and work towards removing regulatory barriers, including reviewing of the Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) in terms of its limitation to certain categories and of a limited amount (like in the case of gems & jewellery), simplifying customs duty procedures and allowing exporters to claim duty drawbacks,” says the report, ‘Exploring Potential of E-commerce for Retail Exports of Indian MSMEs in Manufacturing Sector’, by industry chamber FICCI and Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), released here on Tuesday.

Noting that the huge potential for Indian exports through an online mode has not been “exploited to its fullest due to lack of conducive policy environment”, the report said policy strategies need to be aimed at motivating Indian MSMEs to migrate to an e-commerce platform,

There is need to reduce the distance between the producer and consumer and e-commerce can help in bridging this gap. Besides, it will also reduce the cost of products, said SN Tripathi, Additional Secretary & Development Commissioner, MSME Ministry. Sanjay Bhatia, President, FICCI-MSME, said: “There is no way we can undermine the contribution of MSMEs to our economy and it is in fact very important that we continue to explore synergies to integrate this very important sector with the latest emerging trends. E-commerce is one such trend which is massively changing the mechanism of global businesses”.

Commenting on the report, Navin Mistry, Director Retail Exports, eBay India, which supported the study, said: “Since 2012, eBay India has always been proactively driving the agenda for Cross Border Trade in India. We are happy to have contributed to the study given our understanding of working with over 25,000 small and medium entrepreneurs who actively leverage our platform to sell across 200+ countries.”