Setback to the iron ore exports from Goa could be offset with export of other goods from the state with the Commerce Ministry keen on working out an export strategy for the state.
Announcing support to the state on the export front, Rita A Teaotia, Commerce secretary, who is on a two-day visit to the state, on Monday said that the strategy would cover services and processed agro products. “It will be formulated in four months’ time and will be supported by an action plan with timelines,” she said.
The proposed strategy is expected to look at problems affecting local exporters such as logistics, issues of quality and testing, difficulties with compliance etc. The purpose of the Commerce secretary’s visit is to have consultations with local exporters and state officials on measures to boost exports. It included an open house meeting with Goan exporters that took place in the afternoon.
Around 100 exporting units from the pharmaceutical, marine product, cashew, shipbuilding and engineering industries attended the open house meeting that discussed problems of transaction cost, shipping etc. Teaotia said that infrastructure to store cargo is one of the problems faced by the exporters.
Terming the open house meeting as satisfactory, she said that it helped in addressing the difficulties faced by exporters. “Exports are not something that happen in isolation. It is a reflection of economic activity happening in the state and the outcome depends on the responsiveness of the local officials and facilitation measures,” said the Commerce secretary.
She said that the local units are interested in developing a hub for agro-exports and the Commerce Ministry would be enlarging the idea. The Ministry has also identified healthcare exports as a future area of development, she said.
Teaotia, with the accompanying delegation, will be meeting Goa chief secretary and other state officials on Tuesday. The issue of mining closure and iron ore exports is also likely to come up for discussion during the meeting.
The Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO), the apex body of all export promotion councils, is entrusted with the task of preparing the export strategy report. Dhananjay Sharma, deputy director, FIEO, said that the report will be based on field visits and it will cover Goa existing exports, prospective exports and recommended goods and services. FIEO, it is learnt, has already communicated with the state government about preparing an export strategy report and received permission for the same.
Teaotia said that Goa is already an export hub, as it handles 10 per cent of India’s pharmaceutical exports. The export earnings from the tourism industry is another significant contribution, she said.
The Commerce secretary’s visit is in the presence of representatives from customs department, CONCOR and Konkan Railway Corporation.