In India, Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) assist Indian exporters by promoting Indian products in international markets and increasing India’s exports overall through various activities.
In every country, export promotion organizations perform this function. India has 37 organizations that cater to exporters of different product categories. As a result of this categorizing, EPCs are able to offer exporters better assistance and focus more on promoting products.
In this blog, exporters will find all the information they need on EPCs, including:
- Why Indian products need to be promoted,
- EPC roles and functions,
- What they do to help exporters,
- You can register with them here, and
- Trends related to these organizations.
Why export promotion?
Promoting exports has been done by countries throughout history. A structured approach to export promotion was introduced after the second world war. For export promotion in India, Federation of India Export Organisations (FIEO) was established in 1965.
According to the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MoSPI), India was the 18th largest exporter in the world in 2019. However, Indian exports accounted for only 1.72% of global exports in that year. An economy like India needs export promotion due to this meager figure. As a result, export promotion councils are established with the sole purpose of promoting India as a quality supplier of products and services that are in demand in international markets.
Types of Export Promotion Councils (EPCs)
In India, export promotion councils (EPCs) are formed according to the specific requirements of export products. Every product category, i.e. Electronic goods, apparel, food products, etc. The respective export promotion councils assist exporters in overcoming challenges associated with those product categories and increasing exports for those products.
Export Promotion Companies (EPCs) act as a bridge between governments and exporters, coordinating their efforts with the aim of boosting exports. Under the Companies Act / Societies Registration Act, the councils are non-profit organizations. Additionally, some export industries have commodity boards and export development authorities.
As a result of special bills passed by the Parliament, commodity boards and export development authorities were established.
FIEO is the umbrella organization for all export promotion councils. Indian exporters, the Central Government, the State Governments, financial institutions, ports, railways, surface transport and other stakeholders depend on it. Directly or indirectly, FIEO serves over 200,000 exporters in all industries.
For simplicity, in this article we will refer to these organizations by the acronym EPCs. Moreover, all the above-mentioned organizations fall under the Ministry of Commerce.
Role of Export Promotion Councils (EPCs)
In order to market Indian products and services as a preferred destination for export, EPCs play a vital role and function. In order to accomplish this, the EPCs represent India and its exporters on international markets and promote their products in a variety of ways. Furthermore, EPCs assist exporters in identifying new markets and expanding their export basket while consolidating exports to current destinations.
As well as helping the government formulate effective trade policies, they also provide insights into the issues faced by exporters on international markets.
EPCs are autonomous bodies with independent decision-making and functioning powers. All EPCs, however, must follow any laws and by-laws enacted / modified by the Central Government from time to time.
Functions of EPCs
- Export promotion: EPCs help exporters promote their products in international markets. In addition to organising and participating in international trade fairs, buyer-seller meets, etc., they also conduct various internal promotional activities.
- Incentive schemes assistance: Help exporters to take advantage of different incentive schemes announced in the Foreign Trade Policy. Exporters cannot take advantage of those benefits without RCMC certificates issued by EPCs.
- Help exporters expand into new markets and meet new buyers through EPC’s foreign branches and offices. In particular, this is helpful to small and medium manufacturers with limited resources.
- Develop relationships: Send delegations to key foreign countries in order to enhance or diversify exports.
- Providing timely information: Inform exporters about recent trends, happenings, and export opportunities in international markets, as well as changes and updates in trade policies.
- Liaison: Identifying and representing the needs, issues, and problems of the trade and export communities to the government.
- Provide the government with comprehensive export data concerning their respective categories of products in order to help frame effective trade policies.
- Assist exporters with: (a) technology upgrades, (b) product/service quality improvements, (c) design improvements, (d) standards and specifications, (e) product development, and (f) innovation
Benefits of EPCs
- Exporters benefit most from the ease of access to international markets as EPCs aim to increase buyer-seller interactions. Since many small and medium businesses do not have the resources to approach international buyers directly, they stand to benefit most from this.
- Incentives for exports: Registered exporters with EPCs are entitled to take advantage of the various export incentive schemes announced by the government from time to time. Expatriates must be exporters to receive these benefits.
- Source of trade data: All EPCs collect export and import data of all its members, thus building a repository of valuable information for both the government and the exporters. This data can provide a lot of insights into diversifying and expanding the international market base.
To help exporters reach new markets, EPCs arrange foreign tours for trade delegations. Tours like these offer excellent opportunities to increase buyer bases and exports. Additionally, bilateral relations between the two countries are strengthened as well.