India is looking at getting duty-free access for different products, identified under One District One Product (ODOP) initiative, to promote their exports, commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal said on Monday. He said that these products, which include gold jewellery, toys, handicrafts and handlooms, hold huge opportunties.
“We are doing Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) where we are looking at duty-free access for all these products. So we can create international acceptance of these products,” Goyal said while speaking at the launch of One District One Product gift catalogue and storefront on public procurement portal GeM here. In a free trade pact, two or more countries significantly reduce or eliminate customs duties on the maximum number of goods traded between them to boost bilateral commerce.
India is negotiating trade agreements with countries including the UK, Canada and European Union. The Department of Commerce is engaging with state and central government agencies to promote the initiative.
The objective is to convert each district of the country into an export hub by identifying products with export potential, addressing bottlenecks for exporting these products, supporting local exporters/manufacturers to scale up manufacturing, and finding potential buyers outside India. The minister also suggested a five-point approach for ODOP success and that includes – developing one-stop gifting destinations with high quality suppliers; involving students of institutions like National Institute of Design; and extensive training sessions for artisans.
“Let us look at creating art and crafts villages at the G20 destinations across India. This can become the seed which will help artisans for years and help tourism and will give visibility to ODOP,” he said, adding programmes like Startup India, Make In India and Open Network for Digital Commerce would further help boost the initiative. Additional Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Sumita Dawra said onboarding of ODOP products at GeM platform would help to promote those goods.
“There are a lot of opportunties for these goods. Ecommerce platforms too are selling these goods,” she said. Additional Chief Secretary – Information, MSME and Export Promotion – Navneet Sehgal said that states are taking a series of measures to promote goods under the ODOP.
“ODOP is helping in promoting inclusive growth of the state. We are strengthening clusters. We are trying to develop a complete ecosystem for these products,” Sehgal said.