World Trade Centre Goa, in association with DGFT Goa and DGFT Mumbai, organized a seminar on “Maximizing Export Potential of Goa: Role of Trade Facilitators” on 21st March 2018, at Panaji, Goa.
The Chief Guest Dr Sonia Sethi, IAS, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) in her Key Note Address highlighted the changing interface of the Director General of Foreign Trade, from being a controller to being a facilitator, which is helping the exporting community to understand their concerns and to implement all the policies of the ministry of commerce for the facilitation of trade.
Information, she said, is very important and in this regard, the setting up of the Trade Analytics Portal by the DGFT would be very helpful for current Exporters as well as for those willing to start an Export Business. This would go a long way in ushering an era of Ease in Trading, she opined. Dr. Sethi also announced that the DGFT office in Goa would be organizing an Open House on every Wednesdays and encouraged the Exporters to take advantage of the same in having their grievances addressed.
Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. A.O.Kuruvila, Advisor – Trade and Education, World Trade Centre, Mumbai, highlighted the core theme of the Seminar which was to bring, on one platform, all the trade bodies involved in International Trade to enable them to share ideas to facilitate and promote International Trade from Goa. Mr. Kuruvila noted that up until 2012 major promotion was done for the mining sector only, but post that year, there has been a marked change and sectors like Pharmaceuticals, Cashew nuts, processed foods etc are included in the export basket of Goa. He was of the opinion that most of the businesses in Goa suffer from a lack of awareness of the opportunities that are available to them around the Globe and encouraged them to take advantage of the World Trade Centre's network which covers almost 100 countries globally and opens up around one Billion business enterprises globally that Goa can potentially look to increase international trade with.
The Deputy Director of Foreign Trade, (DGFT) Goa, Mrs. Shakuntala Naik, presented a review of some of the measures that were taken by the DGFT during the midterm review of the 2015 to 2020 Foreign Trade Policy. She also deliberated on the various aspects of the Niryat Bhandhu Scheme that has been introduced with the aim of facilitating and increasing India's Exports
Mr. Akshay Potekar, Dy. Director, (Industries), Directorate of Industries, Trade and Commerce, Government of Goa, in his address highlighted that India is the top most in exporting jewelry, petroleum, automobile parts and organic chemicals. Goa is ranked 17 in the country for exports and in order to increase the growth, the Government is in the process of setting up a large scale Integrated Container Deport which together with the Konkan Railway will address the logistics concerns of the Exporters from Goa. He also touched upon the Service Exports like Health Care and Solid waste Management among others would go a long way in increasing Goa's Exports.
Ms. Parinati Sunkar, IRS, Dy. Commissioner, Goa Customs, spoke on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) e-sealing that enables cargo to be more expeditiously loaded and eliminates unnecessary hold up at ports, which in turn would bring down the transportation costs for a trader. The Single Window Interface for Facilitating Trade (SWIFT) , she said, was another business enabler that the Goa Customs has introduced. This facility would allow Importers and Exporters to lodge their clearance documents at a single point thereby considerably reducing the time taken for clearance of their consignments. Ms. Sunkar also shared about the Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programme which is a facilitation scheme and participants are entitled for certain privilege, benefits and exemption on account of import and export, in India. This scheme besides benefiting the Importers and Exporters would also benefit Logistics Providers, Terminal Operators, Customs Brokers and Warehouse Operators.
Mr. Siddhart Zantye, Executive Committee Member, Cashew Export Promotion Council of India, spoke on the past, present and future of the cashew industry. He mentioned that in 1928, during the Portuguese regime they brought cashew plantations from Brazil, to Goa, as a solution for the soil erosion problems that were faced at that time in Goa. Unique Soil, weather and rainfall are some of the advantages for cashew harvesting in Goa as a result of which the Goan cashew has imbibed a unique taste and today rated the best in the world. Mr. Zantye noted that some of the major issue faced by the Cashew nut industry in Goa include increasing raw material costs, shortage of labour and higher wages which are resulting in higher pricing on exports.
Mr. Ashutosh Kharangate, Managing Director, Mangal Analytics and Research Consulting, shared with the exporters the statistics on Goa Exports ranging from Fish, marine products , light engineering goods, Ophthalmic lenses, pharma products, cashew nuts, Goan spices and sweets like Bebinca. He opined that Goa is well connected by rail and road, 24X7 Customs services and is blessed with a highly skilled workforce and this would greatly benefit growth in Exports from Goa in the near future.
Mr. Asok Kumar, Deputy Director, Marine Products Export Development Authority, highlighted that the Grey Mullet has been named as the state fish. He further stated that cultivation of Basa fish for the export market utilizes the local resources in a more effective manner. Dry fish is in demand in the domestic and export market and the Tilapio variety of fish is being exported to many countries in Europe. In Goa, he said, about 2000 hectare of mangroves are being provided for mud crabs culture, which is having a great demand in domestic as well as the export market. He ended his presentation by speaking on the various value additions that can be undertaken in the areas of Fish and Mud Crabs exports, thereby giving the exporters much higher value for their Marine Exports.
Ms. Dipty Shiriskar, Assistant Director, Export Inspection Agency (EIA), appraised the delegates present on the role played by the EIA in the sound development of Indian Exports through the sectors of quality control and inspection. She then elaborated on the host of services offered to the Exporters, like Certificate of Origin, Pre Shipment Inspection , Laboratory Testing among others. Mr. Cyril Desouza, Asst. Director – Trade Promotion, World Trade Centre, Goa, Moderated the Seminar and proposed the vote of Thanks.