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Commerce ministry taps embassies to alert Indian exporters: report

19 January 2016

With India's exports continuing to fall for the thirteenth successive month, the commerce ministry has sought the help of embassies in non-English speaking countries to alert smaller, less prominenet exporters in India on the business opportunities in those countries.

Embassies in countries like China and South Korea now upload business information on a portal maintained by exporters body, the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

This is needed as business opportunities in non-English speaking countries are made public through the local media, most of which go unnoticed by exporters in India.

While large companies with a presence or liaison offices in such countries are able to tap business opportunities there, most exporters in India have no access to such information. This denies these exporters a level playing field, the commerce ministry feels.

The commerce department through Indian embassies in South Korea and China, has now started an exercise of translating such advertisements and uploading them on a portal maintained by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO).

''China box and Korea box have been created on the portal. Inquiries are beginning to pick up,'' a Business Standard report quoted Rita Teaotia, secretary, commerce, as saying.

Besides export opportunities, the embassies also will be informing about offers of business partnerships, Teaotia said.

Meanwhile, India's trade deficit for the nine months ended 31 December 2015 stood at $99.21 billion, despite lower imports and a fall in the country's merchandise exports.

The trade deficit for April-December 2015-16, estimated at $99.208 billion, was, however, lower than the deficit of $111.69 billion during April-December 2014-15.

India has the maximum trade deficit with China with the total India-China trade in 2015 standing at $71.64 billion, up from $70.59 billion in 2014.

China's exports to India increased to $58.25 billion, while India's export to China declined to $13.38 billion in 2015 from $16.4 billion in 2014.

In the case of South Korea, the bilateral trade grew to $18 billion during 2014-15, with India's exports rising nine per cent to $4.6 billion.

Information on the latest and live tender and business enquiries with contact details are available on the home page of

Reports said, the South Korea box had about a dozen inquiries, including inquiries seeking to import Indian peanuts and another for activated carbon.

In the China box, however, there aren't any entries but officials said the number was likely to pick up as the concept gains ground.

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