How an effective trade policy can help MSMEs spread their wings

The pandemic has impacted many lives and the world has been coping with it for a yr now. A report by Nomura India Business Resumption Index means that the second outbreak is more likely to gradual the nation’s financial restoration.

In this grim backdrop, the stimulating energy of exports can’t be understated. Focusing on the expansion of India’s participation in worldwide trade is reflective of the Atmanirbhar Bharat imaginative and prescient. Earning overseas alternate helps scale back the trade deficit and has a direct influence on the GDP. This has a optimistic influence the financial progress. Exports additionally generate employment which is required at a time when the nation has simply clocked in an unemployment price of 6.9%. The upcoming Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) which is slated for 2021-2026 is not going to solely present short-term aid from the results of the pandemic, but in addition give a powerful foothold in our mission to achieve a $5 trillion economic system by 2025 and $1 trillion via the digital economic system.

Participation of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), freelancers and entrepreneurs are very important for the expansion of the nation’s exports. The overseas alternate earnings by these small companies are transmitted quick within the native home economic system thereby making a cycle of native demand, including to the GDP progress. Therefore, it’s prudent that our trade policy focuses on encouraging SMEs to develop their alternative to maneuver past home borders, enhance competitiveness of home-grown manufacturers and place India as a frontrunner within the world market. Here are some issues inside and outdoors the scope of the FTP to make sure strong export efficiency over the following 5 years.

Leverage India’s energy in exports of small worth items and companies

It is an opportune time for small worth exporters of products. With growing adoption of ecommerce, the floodgates to buy custom-made items from wherever on the earth has opened. In truth, a current NASSCOM report pegs ecommerce exports to achieve US $125 billion by 2030. This clubbed with low threat and funding offers a serious increase to our MSMEs, which is why the brand new policy ought to contemplate extending needed assist to allow artisans of tribal merchandise, handicrafts or small exporters of gems and jewelry to make the most of the worldwide B2C demand. This will lead to an enhance within the employment inside the manufacturing sector.

Services and companies exports are India’s energy. The pandemic has drastically impacted journey, paving manner for distant work, on-line training and leisure. India is among the largest freelancer markets. Demand for their small worth digital companies within the areas of software program, training, wellness, market analysis, and many others. are booming with potential to progress at excessive double digits yearly. Another upside of this example is the rise of girls entrepreneurs within the nation. For occasion, a house maker with ardour and educated Indian classical dance or yoga, finds it comparatively simple to show a worldwide viewers from the convenience of her house. The Indian Diaspora of greater than 16 million is a transparent audience for distant companies. These small worth companies have the potential to boost India’s resiliency, so naturally the brand new FTP should allow ease in B2B and B2C trade.

One manner contains quicker GST refunds to extend ease of doing enterprise and having sustainable enterprise fashions. Another manner can be by introducing modifications to the Services Exports from India Scheme (SEIS) and by together with incentives for small worth companies as much as Rs 5 crores.

Create a win-win for MSMEs and freelancers – introduce a expertise portal for digitalisation

Digitisation is crucial for MSMEs to outlive and thrive however is commonly a difficult job. The single greatest problem is to get inexpensive and expert expertise to handle the digital transformation of primary enterprise capabilities and processes akin to web site, search engine optimization/SEM, procurement, provide chain, advertising and marketing and many others. MSMEs can not afford to draw and retain the expertise required to run an omni-channel digital enterprise.

On the opposite finish of the spectrum, the nation has an enviable base of freelancers with experience throughout these domains. Clearly, they’re the reply to the expertise administration drawback confronted by MSMEs. The policy can develop a expertise portal based mostly on a pay-per-use mannequin. Right from digital advertising and marketing and social media specialists to web site builders, search engine optimization specialists and buying cart enhancement specialists can be listed on the portal to offer MSMEs entry to expert expertise with out incurring mounted prices, whereas seamlessly rising their exports. This additionally proves useful for freelancers by guaranteeing sustained enterprise alternatives.

Modify the MSME Act to incorporate service provider trade exports

The authorities has launched varied incentives for MSMEs over the past yr to allow small companies to successfully navigate via the disaster. Unfortunately, beneath the MSME Act solely producers are eligible to avail these, whereas service provider trade exports are not noted from the definition. This challenge must be addressed and the definition must e expanded to make sure that service provider trade exports are eligible for a similar advantages.

The subsequent few years are essential in setting the muse for progress and worldwide trade of small worth items and companies play an equally necessary function in attaining this. India’s Foreign Trade Policy ought to pave newer methods for small companies and freelancers to develop their presence past the nation and attain world customers. With key modifications to incentives and definitions and implementation of a expertise platform, India can leverage the structural modifications in world trade to emerge as a profitable chief. This will lead to each, quick and long-term financial advantages for the nation.

(The author is Director, Corporate Affairs, PayPal India)

(The one-stop vacation spot for MSME, ET RISE gives information, views and evaluation round GST, Exports, Funding, Policy and small enterprise administration.)

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