Seeking to unlock the full potential of the global demand for a wide range of high-quality goods and services from Kerala, the State Government has drawn up a comprehensive draft Export Promotion Policy (EPP), proposing a slew of incentives and other institutional supports for stakeholders.

The draft EPP, which is available in the public domain till November 1 for eliciting views and suggestions from stakeholders and the public, makes a strong case for adopting targeted strategies and initiatives for enabling exporters to make a mark on the global stage by tapping into the immense demand for world class products and services from the State.

The draft policy, drawn up by the State’s investment promotion agency Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation on behalf of the Department of Industries and Commerce can be accessed here.

After obtaining the views and suggestions, the draft policy will be submitted to the Government for approval. The policy is expected to be finalized and notified by January 2024.

The EPP propose a range of supportive measures including a district-oriented approach to tap the outside markets for products from different regions.

Taking an overview of Kerala’s export scenario, EPP notes that the State is already a prominent exporter of an assortment of merchandise like spices, marine products, tea, ayurvedic and healthcare products, tourism and IT and ITeS services. Still, there is immense scope to bolster the revenue-spinning sector through strategic actions including creation of value-chain and adding more goods and services in its exporting list.

The focus sectors identified by the draft EPP include spices, horticulture and agriculture products, seafood, processed food products, engineering goods, petrochemical products, organic and inorganic chemicals, textiles and garments, defence and aerospace, electronics and ancillary engineering and technology, ayurveda and pharmaceuticals and healthcare among others.

Besides proposing a comprehensive framework to provide financial incentives and institutional backups for exporters, the draft EPP also calls for efficacy of funding, performance management, and import substitution to bolster the valuechain.

Pointing out that Kerala was ranked 16th among Indian states in the Export Preparedness Index-2021 of NITI Aayog, the EPP notes that the absence of an enabling state export policy, inadequate district-wise export plans and excessive reliance on a few commodities and select countries are the reasons for the state to lag in the export segment.

The EPP seeks to address these lacunae through a target-oriented policy intervention to enhance export competitiveness, market diversification, and financial incentives to create a conducive environment for exporters and position the state as a globally recognized exporter of high-quality products and services.

The policy underscores the need to initiate value-chain-based actions to promote higher value-addition of marine products, spices, and farm and plantation products to increase the volume of returns on them. The policy also calls for the need to improve gross volume, product development and packaging; thereby aligning with the state’s ESG goals.

It also suggests streamlining procedures and fostering innovation and skill development, strengthening the collaboration among the stakeholders, government and academia to enhance productivity and create sustainable and inclusive growth.