The Export Promotion Councils have been set up under the Indian Companies Act 1956, as non-profit organizations.

The Government of India, through the Ministries of Commerce and Industries, has established an integrated structure for servicing and promoting exports.

It provides guidance, information and assistance to exporters. These are organizations specialized in a particular product or a group of products. Their main objective is to promote export of such commodities or a group of products.

Learn about the export promotional councils of India.

Export Promotion Councils of India: Organisations, Councils, Institutes and Infrastructure

Export Promotion Councils of India – Top 15 Organisations Set up for Export Promotions

The Government of India, through the Ministries of Commerce and Industries, has established an integrated structure for servicing and promoting exports. It provides guidance, information and assistance to exporters.


The following are the organisations set up for export promotions:

1. The Board of Trade – It is a body consisting of representatives of organised trade and industry. Senior officials of the Economic Ministries of the Government of India are also its members. It meets periodically and discusses the problems regarding country’s foreign trade and recommended their solution.

2. Advisory Council of Trade – Public sector trading organisations, RBI, Research and Development Organisation, ECGC, Members of Parliament are its members. It reviews the performance of country’s economy in its commercial aspects, mainly concerning exports and imports.


3. Regional Advisory Committees on Imports and Exports – These are four zonal Committees. North, South, East and West. These committees discuss local problems faced by exporters, importers and manufacturers, relating to import licensing, customs clearance, release of foreign exchange for travel abroad, duty drawback, quality control, pre-shipment export incentives and shipping and transportation etc.

4. Chambers of Commerce and Industries – They play an important role in export promotion. Their activities are mainly the dissemination of information, providing a forum for discussion of problems arising due to policy matter, issue of certificate of origin to exporters, etc.

5. Federation of Indian Export Organisation (FIEO) – It was formed by the Government of India to provide an apex co­ordinating agency dealing particularly with problems of general nature, common to all commodities and services.

6. Export Promotion Councils (EPCs) – There are 17 such councils in India handling wide range of products. They secure active association of growers, producers and exporters in country’s drive for export promotion. They are registered as non-profit organisations under the Companies Act.


7. The Trade Development Authority (TDA) – It is the promoter of India’s industrial exports. Though it is public sector organisation, it serves the private and the public sector alike. It renders a package of services to an entrepreneur. It is a promoter of new products, markets and export-oriented unit. It also promotes export oriented joint ventures.

8. Commodity Boards – There are in all 9 such boards for different commodities which are tea, coffee, rubber, cardamom, coir, silk, handicrafts and handloom products. They are formed to organise, develop and promote production and exports along proper lines.

9. Export Houses – In order to develop the capacity, resources, competence and specialisation in the field of export market, the Government of India has started a scheme in 1958 to recognise certain export organisations as export house. In the case of a manufacturing export house in the small-scale sector, the qualifying export amount is Rs. 25 lakhs (FOB) as exports for products in the select list and Rs. 2 crores for other products. They get the facilities offices, surveys, advertisements and exhibition etc., acquisition by transfer of import replenishment licences.

10. Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) – It mainly concentrates on areas of market research, training of personnel and dissemination of market information and intelligence in India. It started as an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act in 1963.


11. Indian Council of Arbitration – Its main object is to promote arbitration as a means of setting commercial disputes and to popularise arbitration among traders.

12. Export Inspection Council (EIC) – It tries to maintain quality standards for the products exported from India. Under the Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act of 1964, the Government of India notified commodities which are subject to compulsory quality control or inspection or both, before shipment. Such commodities should acquire certificates obtained from the EIC.

13. Export Processing Zones – In India, there are two such zones, viz. –

(i) Kandla Free Trade Zone (K.F.T.Z.), and


(ii) Santacruz Electronics Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ).

They offer the benefits of duty-free import of capital goods and equipments, exemption from customs, and other counter-veiling duty on raw materials, components, consumable items etc. exemption from central excise duties, advance import licences etc.

14. The Directorate of Exhibitions and Commercial Publicity – It arranges participation in international exhibitions, Indian exhibitions abroad, runs show-rooms in foreign countries and establishes trade centres in important selected markets outside India.

15. The State Trading Corporation of Indian and its subsidiaries. Its main functions are –


(i) Diversification of India’s export trade,

(ii) Effecting exports to the existing markets and exploring new markets.

(iii) Maintaining exports of traditional items; and

(iv) Canalising imports of certain commodities.

Export Promotion Council of India – Top 20 Councils in India

These are organizations specialized in a particular product or a group of products. Their main objective is to promote and promote export of such commodities or a group of products.


The Export Promotion Councils have been set up under the Indian Companies Act 1956, as non-profit organizations. There are 20 export promotion councils in India, dealing with various commodities.

These are being mentioned below:

1. Cotton Textile Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

2. Engineering Export Promotion Council, Kolkata.

3. Export Promotion Council for Finished leather and leather Manufactures, Kanpur.


4. Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

5. Handloom Export Promotion Council, Chennai.

6. Apparel Export Promotion Council, New Delhi.

7. Basic Chemicals Pharmaceutical and Cosmetics Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

8. Cashew Export Promotion Council, Cochin.

9. Leather Export Promotion Council, Chennai.


10. Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council, Kolkata.

11. Plastics and Linoleums Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

12. Shellac Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

13. Processed Food Export Promotion Council, New Delhi.

14. Carpet Export Promotion Council, New Delhi.

15. Overseas Construction Council of India, Mumbai.


16. Wood and Woolens Export Promotion Council, New Delhi.

17. Silk Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

18. Spices Export Promotion Council, Cochin.

19. Silk and Rayon Textiles, Export Promotion Council, Mumbai.

20. Sports Goods Exports Promotion Council, New Delhi.

Regional and Overseas Offices:


Some of these Export Promotion Councils have set up regional as well as overseas offices in the selected countries.

Membership and Working of the Export Promotion Councils:

Any exporter of the product coming under the council can become the member if they are desirous of claiming export incentives and assistance of the Council. These councils receive grants from the Government under its various heads.

Each member pays an annual subscription fee. A working committee elected by the members, elects its chairman and other office bearers. The working committee discusses all the problems relating to the product coming under the council, and necessary action is also taken. Senior officials of the Government, are also appointed on the Working Committee to guide and take part in the deliberations.

Functions of the Export Promotion Councils:

(1) Export Promotion – The Export Promotion Councils aid in export promotion works by providing external as well as internal publicity, trade fair participation. It also promotes exclusive exhibitions of specific products.


(2) Assistance to Exporters – Exporters receive assistance from the Export Promotion Council in understanding and implementing the trade policies and schemes launched by the Government.

(3) Assistance Through Offices, Branches in Foreign Countries – The council provides assistance to the exporters in consolidating the existing exports and diversifying the new products through new offices opened in the foreign countries. This explores the new potential for exports and lends a very useful service to the small manufacturers who cannot go to the foreign countries for the purpose.

(4) Maintains Liaison – To identify the problems of the exporters, the council maintains an effective liaison with industry and trade. It serves the valuable purpose of a ‘link’ between the industry, trade and the Government.

(5) Provides Data to the Government – The council collects complete data (concerning a specific product) on export growth, the problems faced by the exporters etc. It presents such data before the Government to evolve policies and programs for the solution of the problems.

(6) Sends Delegates to Foreign Countries – The council arranges and sends delegation of foreign countries to promote the export of a specific product or a group of products.

Role of Export Promotion Councils in the Field of Export Promotion:

An exporter, on being a member of the Export Promotion Council starts getting following utilities from it:

(i) The councils circulate the trade enquiries (received from its commercial representatives abroad) among members much earlier than these are published.

(ii) Plans for display and advertising abroad are prepared by the councils.

(iii) The publication of the market surveys and research under-taken by the council, in their bulletins provides valuable information to the exporters.

(iv) The councils provide valuable advice on finance, banking, insurance, scope of joint ventures, as well as custom formalities.

(v) The council makes recommendations on the difficulties brought to its notice by the exporters and puts such recommendations before the Government.

(vi) The councils also provide creditability reports on the status of the suppliers; as well as about their technical competence and capacity.

(vii) Exporters are assisted in arranging supply of indigenous and imported raw materials by the councils.

(viii) The council also help in establishing tie-ups in the third country exports.

(ix) The councils arrange buyer-seller meetings and get together.

(x) The councils help in resolving trade disputes.

(xi) Arranges programs of the foreign businessmen visiting the country.

Export Promotion Councils of India – Indian Institutes

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade:

The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade was set up in 1963 as an autonomous body registered under the Societies Registration Act.

The main functions envisaged for the Institute are:

(1) Training:

The Institute conducts training programmes on various aspects of export trade.

Broadly, these fall into three categories, tailored to various needs:

(i) Programmes for senior export marketing executives and Government personnel of India and various developing countries;

(ii) Programmes for junior executives and fresh graduates; and

(iii) Special training programmes on the basis of requests from various organisations developed to suit their needs.

(2) Research:

The research activities of the institute are confined to export trade—mainly in the field of policy formulation and in the field of specific exports, market surveys etc.

Another area in which the Institute has successfully forged ahead is in the field of surveys conducted by it on behalf of the various State Governments to identify commodities from each State which have an export potential.

A perusal of these surveys indicates that the Institute:

(i) Identifies the potential products for export from a State,

(ii) Investigates the problem faced by such industry in exports,

(iii) Studies export marketing problems for such products and finally,

(iv) Makes recommendations as to the type of assistance needed for such industry and also indicates various other industries which can be established on the basis of their expert potential arising out of the availability of the raw materials and other expertise in the State.

The main activities of IIFT are:

(a) Training of export management personnel drawn from trade and industry, export institutions, Government departments and trading corporations.

(b) Undertakes research on various aspects of foreign trade. It also undertakes research on problems referred to it by industry, trade and Government;

(c) Conduct of market surveys in India and abroad to identify products and countries offering potential for Indian exports.

(d) Dissemination of information arising from its activities relating to foreign trade.

(e) Provides consultancy services to business firms in matters relating to foreign trade.

(f) It publishes information through its Journals i.e., Foreign Trade Reviewed (quarterly) and Foreign Trade Bulletin (monthly).

(g) It sponsors candidates selected from industry and trade, export houses trading corporations for higher training abroad in export management.

IIFT has specialised faculty and researchers for undertaking studies in the Indian markets as well as overseas markets and commodity surveys for the benefit of exporting community and export promotion agencies in India.

The institute imparts training to:

(a) Junior executives for one year.

(b) Middle level executives for one to two months.

(c) Senior executives for one to two weeks.

The training covers wide areas in export management such as:

(a) International Marketing.

(b) Trade Policy.

(c) Export Pricing.

(d) Export Promotion Aspects.

(e) Export Finance.

(f) Overseas marketing research.

(g) Overseas Sales Management.

(h) Export Procedures.

(i) Export Regulations etc.

The IIFT has an excellent library where one can refer publications from GATT, UNCTAC, and other publications and periodicals on all aspects of international marketing.

Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA):

In export trade, sometimes a dispute arises between a buyer and seller in which the buyer complains that the seller has not fulfilled the conditions of the contract.

These may be due to:

(a) Quality,

(b) Quantity,

(c) Delivery,

(d) Packing,

(e) Specifications, and

(f) Price or due to any other conditions of the contract.

In such cases, arbitration becomes necessary—a procedure which should be acceptable to both the parties.

The Government of India established the Indian Council of Arbitration in 1965, which is registered under the Societies Registration Act as a non-profit organisation.

The main objectives of the Council are:

(a) To publish literature on commercial arbitration cases and allied literature;

(b) To conduct meetings and seminars to acquaint exporters with international law and commercial arbitration;

(c) To render advisory services to the export community with regard to arbitration clauses and allied matters which have to be included in international trade contracts; and

(d) To help in the settlement of trade complaints by providing services for settlement of business disputes by arbitration. For this purpose, the Council maintains a panel of arbitrators.

As is normal in such cases, the help of the Council may be invoked only when there is an arbitration clause in the contract or, in the alternative, when both the parties to the dispute agree to refer the matter to the Council.

The conciliation services of the council are rendered free of charge. However, in cases of arbitration, the fees charged by the Council are nominal. The arbitration proceedings of the Council are governed by the rules of arbitration, which can be obtained from the council.

World Trade Centre:

The World Trade Centre was promoted by M. Visvesvaraya Industrial Research and Development centre, a non-profit organisation.

The World Trade Centre was started in Mumbai, the commercial capital of India, in order to promote exports of India, especially that of handicrafts and small and medium scale industries.

The basic idea of starting this World Trade Centre in Mumbai was to bring together all export related agencies at one place. At present, the Centre accommodates offices of EPC’s Importers, Exporters, Clearing and Forwarding Agents, Government Agencies, Consultancy firms etc. The Centre also has showrooms where Indian products are exhibited or displayed for Indian and Overseas buyers.

The Centre is presently affiliated to World Trade Centres’ Association New York, which presently has 166 members in 56 nations.

Functions of WTC:

(1) Research and Development – The WTC assists Indian Exporters and manufacturers in their R&D effort. It publishes a quarterly journal ‘World Trade Review’ which brings out important aspects of foreign trade.

(2) Seminars and Workshops – The WTC conducts seminars and workshops on foreign trade. This helps the exporters to obtain current information on various markets abroad. By attending such seminars, exporters can device new and better export strategies.

(3) Information – The WTC, also provides valuable information to the exporters through its monthly bulletin ‘Trade Promotion Services’ and a quarterly journal ‘WTC Intercom’.

(4) Education and Training – The World Trade Centre also conducts short-term courses to educate and train export personnel in various aspects of foreign trade.

(5) Buyer-Seller Meet – The Centre organises and facilitates buyer seller meet, where overseas buyers meet Indian businessmen to negotiate and sign contracts.

(6) Exhibitions – The Centre provides space for display of every kind of merchandise. Exporters can have their exhibitions either permanently or temporarily. A number of items are displayed such as – handicrafts, gems and jewellery, leather items, engineering goods, etc.

Trade Fair Authority of India (TFAI):

The Trade Fair Authority of India (TFAI) has been set up as a Government Company under the Indian Companies Act, 1956. It took over the functions of the erstwhile Directorate of Exhibitions and Commercial Publicity, The Indian International Trade Fair Organisation and the Indian Council of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions. The Trade Fair Authority of India started functioning in March, 1977.

The Indian Council of Trade Fairs and Exhibitions and Trade Fair Organisation.

The objectives of the Trade Fair Authority are:

(i) To promote, organise and participate in industrial trade and other fairs and exhibitions,

(ii) To set up showrooms and shops in India and abroad,

(iii) To undertake trading activities in commodities connected with or relating to such fairs and exhibitions, and

(iv) To develop exports of new items for diversification and expansion of India’s exports.

The Trade Fair Authority of India brings out regularly three journals, namely, Udyog Vyapar Patrika (Hindi—Monthly), Indian Export Bulletin (English—Weekly), and Economic and Commercial news (English—Weekly). These periodicals provide authentic information on the country’s economy, business possibilities offered by foreign markets, Government trade policies, facilities available for exports and important tenders floated by other countries. They also provide material to Indian Missions for their publicity efforts.

The Authority has been organising wholly Indian exhibitions and India’s participation in several international fairs on a countrywide basis.

With effect from July 1981, all fairs and exhibitions, both within the country and outside, are coordinated by the Trade Fair Authority. It is also the sole agency for organising fairs and exhibitions assisted by Marketing Development Assistance.

Recently, TFAI has developed a sprawling exhibition complex in New Delhi called “Pragati Maidan”. It is one of the excellent complex for arranging national and international level fairs and exhibitions. Pragati Maidan is one of the best exhibitions complex in Asia. It is now popular as a prestigious trade and cultural centre in the country.

The TFAI plays an important role in promoting exports of non- traditional items. It gives wide publicity to Indian goods in different countries through various media of mass communication and also through fairs and exhibitions. Information about foreign markets and scope for marketing abroad are made available to Indian exporters by the TFAI.

The TFAI brings out journals like Journal of Industry and Trade, Indian Exports Service Bulletin and Economic and Commercial News (Weekly). These journals provide authentic information on country’s economy, prospects for Indian exports abroad, Government trade policies, export facilities, etc.

The TFAI has been organising wholly Indian exhibitions and participates in international fairs and exhibitions. It also brings co-ordination in the fairs and exhibitions organised inside and outside India as it is the only agency for organising fairs and exhibitions assisted by Marketing Development Assistance.

The TFAI is playing an important role in protecting the achievements and capabilities as also the image of the country in foreign countries through its publicity techniques and also through participation in international fairs and exhibitions.

Free Trade Zones:

The concept of Free Trade Zones has been in existence for a long time. They are very popular and successful in the newly industrialised developing countries of the Far East. India entered this arena with the establishment of Kandla Free Trade Zone in Gujarat and later Santa Cruz Electronic Export Processing Zone (SEEPZ) in Mumbai.

The Government selects a large area if land, preferably close to a port, provides the infrastructure, such as – land, water, electricity, and standard construction if necessary for units to be established within the zone. The main facility afforded, to these units are duty free imports of capital goods, raw materials, ancillaries etc., for manufacture and export.

The goods manufactured in the zone can also be supplied to the domestic market up to 25% of the production against valid import licences.

The exports from the Kandla Free Trade Zone amounted to Rs. 107 crores in 1983-84. In the subsequent year 1984-85 the exports amounted to Rs. 150 crores in the First eight months-highest exports since its inception.

The Santa Cruz Electronic Export Processing Zone similarly achieved an export of Rs. 88 crores in 1983-84, and in the period April to December 1984, the export amounted Rs. 72 crores, and was well on its way to achieving the maximum exports since inception in the year 1984-85.

In view of the encouraging results, the Government has decided to set up four more Free Trade Zones at Chennai, Cochin, NOIDA (New Delhi) and FALTA (West Bengal).

State Trading Corporation and Its Subsidiaries (STC):

The STC of India, a public sector agency, was set up by GOI on May 18, 1956. State Trading means the direct participation by the Government in the purchase and sale of goods and commodities both, in internal and external markets.

The main functions of the STC are:

(i) Diversification of, and consequently increases in, India’s export trade;

(ii) Exploring of new markets for existing as well as new products; and

(iii) Promotion of long-term export operations and “difficult-to-sell” items.

The STC is also entrusted with products/product groups, the export of which is canalised through it. Similarly, imports of a lot of items are canalised through the STC. Hence, the activities of STC encompass exports, imports and domestic trade.

It has also set up the Industrial Raw Material Assistance Centre, which imports raw materials in bulk and distributes them to industry “off-the-shelf” at competitive prices. The objective is to extend the benefit of bulk buying to actual users in non-canalised items.

The STC had, moreover, undertaken price support operations at the instance of the Government of India for natural rubber in 1970 and for tobacco in 1972. Growers were assured of remunerative prices, and surplus quantities, mopped up by the STC, were exported.

The export earnings of STC in 1988-89 were Rs. 531 crores as against Rs. 581 crores in 1987-88. The import sales of STC fell from Rs. 3037 crores in 1987-88, to Rs. 2036 crores in 1988-89. Consequently the total turnover of STC of Rs. 2586 crores in 1988-89 was lower than the previous year’s turnover of Rs. 3646 crores. The decline is primarily attributed to the decline in the import of edible oils.

(i) The Projects and Equipment Corporation of India (PEC):

The PEC was formed in April 1971 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the STC. It took over the Railway Equipment and Engineering Division of the STC.

The main objectives of forming the Corporation were:

(a) To boost the export of engineering and railway equipment in established markets;

(b) To penetrate new markets;

(c) To promote the export of non-traditional and new products; and

(d) To boost the exports of turnkey projects in the field of railway systems, public utilities and industrial plants.

Some of the products in which the PEC have negotiated and signed contracts are:

Railway Wagons & coaches, steam a Diesel locals, electrical equipment, garage equipment, pumps and compressors, auto components, hand tools, textile machinery, cycles and cycle parts etc.

(ii) Cashew Corporation of India:

This was incorporated in 1970 as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the STC.

The main objectives of the corporation are:

(a) To find new markets for the export of cashew kernels;

(b) To establish new sources of the import of raw cashew nuts; and

(c) To ensure an uninterrupted supply of imported raw cashew nuts at fair prices for export-oriented industries.

It may be pointed out that the cashew industry is heavily dependent on imported raw cashew nuts. In order to overcome fierce and unhealthy competition among importers and also to get the benefit of economic prices on large scale purchases, Canalisation of this industry was brought about.

(iii) Handicraft and Handloom Export Corporation of India:

The Handicrafts and Handloom Export Corporation of India came into existence in 1962. It is a subsidiary company of the State Trading Corporation. The main objective of the Corporation is to develop new markets and expand traditional ones, thus supplementing and aiding the existing private sector trade in handloom and handicrafts.

Major State Trading Organisations in India:

(i) The STC of India Ltd.

(ii) The Projects and Equipment Corporation (PEC) of India Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of STC.

(iii) The Cashew Corporation of India Ltd., (CCI), a wholly owned subsidiary of STC.

(iv) The Handicrafts and Handlooms Export Corporation of India Ltd., (HHEC), a wholly owned subsidiary of STC.

(v) The Tea Trading Corporation of India (TICI) a subsidiary of STC.

(vi) Central Cottage Industries Corporation (CCIC), a subsidiary of HHEC.

(vii) The State Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Corporation of India Ltd., (SCPC), a subsidiary of STC.

(viii) The Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation of India Ltd., (MMTC).

(ix) The Mica Trading Corporation (MITCO), a wholly owned subsidiary of MMTC.

(x) Spices Trading Corporation.

The Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation:

This Corporation, known as the MMTC, was established by the Government of India in 1963. It was expected to develop the export of mineral ores and such other products as are assigned to it by the Government from time to time. It was also given the responsibility of importing some essential raw materials for Indian industries.

Of all the main products, it concentrated on the export of iron ore, manages ore, certain grades of coke and coal, Ferro-manganese, bauxite, etc. Iron ore occupies a predominant position in this export.

The total exports of the country in iron ore and concentrates are of the order of 28 million tonnes, fetching foreign exchange earnings of Rs. 543 crores in 1988-89. It should be borne in mind that MMTC is responsible only for the export of iron ore other than ore of Goan origin.

On the import side, the Corporation buys non-ferrous metals, fertilisers, certain categories of steel, etc., in bulk quantities at competitive rates for supply to Indian industries.

The various subsidiaries of STC and MMTC were established and expanded with the avowed Government objectives of placing the export and import trade, especially of the products which come under the purview of these organisations, in the public sector with a view to giving a boost to export trade. However, the performance of these Corporations has not come up the levels of export trade expected of them.

Export Promotion Councils of India – Types of Export Promotional Infrastructure

The export infrastructure consists of all organisations and institutions whose activities assist individual exporters in effective sales promotion. They include all national and international organisations engaged in general trade promotion through removal of constraints on export traffic, providing necessary export promotion to trade and industry, and by creating fora for the mutual exchange of views between officials and businessmen of trading countries.

All organisations engaged in promoting exports of specific industries would fall in this category. Also included are various export promotion institutions which are engaged in specialized promotional functions like market research, organisation and participation in trade fairs and exhibitions, export packaging, export credit insurance, consultancy, etc. All agencies providing persuasive communication services like advertising, radio, TV media to exporters would also fall within the orbit of promotional infrastructure.

The promotional infrastructure is grouped under four heads:

(1) General Trade Promotion Services.

(2) Industry Export Promotion Services.

(3) Specialized Export Promotion Services.

(4) Persuasive Communication Services.

(1) General Trade Promotion Services:

There are 109 chambers of commerce and industry and 191 trade associations, regional and national recognized by the Government of India. Most of these are regional or local bodies and only a few are national. National organisations includes FICCI, FIEO, and Ascham. Among these bodies 51 chambers of commerce and 14 trade associations are competent to issue certificates of origin under article 11 of the international convention for simpli­fication of customs formalities.

The primary objective of such bodies is to protect the interest of their members, yet they perform secondary activities that assist potential/ actual exporters. Some of these bodies like the FICCI, Ascham, etc. have set up special committees for export promotion.

(2) Industry Export Promotion Services:

Organisations created specially to promote exports from specific industries would fall in this category. Individual trade and industry associations that perform functions to promote exports from within these industries would also be included here. Presently, there are 26 semi-official and official organisations engaged in promoting exports of specified items. These include commodity boards for tea, rubber, jute, coffee, tobacco and silk.

The 17 Export Promotion Councils include those for cashew, chemicals and allied products, cotton textiles, engineering goods, leather, plastics and linoleums, shellac, silk & rayon, spices, sport goods, processed foods, wool and woollens, handlooms, gems and jewellery and apparels. Others are the Jute Commissioners and the All India Handicrafts Board. Each of these organisations is engaged in promotional activities designed to increase exports of products under their respective jurisdiction.

These organisations also function as registering authorities for exporters of the respective items but their main functions involve all such activities as are necessary to support, increase and promote export of specified products. They provide assistance to each exporter by locating buyers, sponsoring overseas visits, trade fair participation and trade mission, market intelligence, procurement of raw materials, etc. Some of them also administer specific export promotional schemes of the Government.

Private industry and trade associations in major export oriented industries are also actively engaged in promoting exports from their respective industries. Some of the prominent organisations include Indian Cotton Mills Federation, Garment Exporters Association, etc. These associations undertake activities to benefit their members by organising trade delegations, etc. For example, CMAI, AEME, and GEA organize regular trade fairs and fashion shows in India where they invite importers from all over the world.

Similarly, in the leather industry, the All India Leather Goods Manufacturers Association, The Leather Clues of Madras and Bombay and the Leather Fair Society of India perform promotional functions. They organize regular trade fairs and fashion shows in India where foreign importers are invited.

(3) Specialized Export Promotion Services:

It includes all organisations engaged in specialized promotional functions like market research, dissemination of trade information, location of buyers, product adaptation, export packaging, etc.

IIFT is engaged in marketing research through overseas market, surveys, desk based market studies, export oriented product studies etc. It also administers market-orientation transfer of selected businessmen under assistance from foreign agencies like the International Trade Centre UMCTAD/GATT and SIDA (Swedish International Development Authority).

The India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at New Delhi offers a variety of promotional services. The ITPO merchandising division helps its clients to develop and adapt products for export markets, participate in overseas trade fairs, etc.

The Indian Institute of Packaging (Bombay), besides training personnel in packaging of export products, also offers a specialized packaging development service for exportable products. The package of the export product performs an important protective and promotional function especially in the case of consumer products.

The Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) is a semi­official apex organisation which coordinates and supplements the promotional activities of business like export houses, export promotion councils and commodity boards. It also serves as the main agency providing assistance to Government recognized export house in export promotion activities.

The specialized export promotion organisations and their activities are mainly financed by Government funds. The Government is also getting financial assistance for export promotion from international organisations like the International Trade Centre, UNCTAD, GATT, ISIDA, etc. Over a dozen specialized and industry export promotion organisations are benefited under this international assistance.

Apart from specialized export promotion organisations functioning with the support of the Central Government, there are also organisations under State Governments involved in specialized export promotion. These public sector corporations provide specialized marketing assistance to small exporters undertaking export business directly. Prominent among the 18 corporations are Gujarat Export Corporation Ltd., Punjab Export Corporation Ltd., UP Export Corporation Ltd., and Bihar State Export Corporation Ltd. providing export promotion services to assist their associate firms in finding markets for their products.

(4) Persuasive Communication Services:

These services include all those organisations which are engaged in providing publicity (visual, audiovisual, etc.) to individual Indian firms and products.

Publicity media in each market and its various segments differ from country to country. The different media include newspapers, magazines, trade journals, specialized, radio, TV, etc. Sales promotion media like trade fairs and exhibitions also differ in coverage from industry to industry and market to market. Each market has certain real developed persuasive communication media and only an advertising agency can help decide on the media an exporter should use.

The best advice on overseas publicity can be obtained from advertising agencies located in target markets. Since it is expensive and difficult to use the services of such agencies, the only alternative is the use of advertising agencies in India which handle overseas publicity through their foreign associates. Presently, there are 18 advertising agencies in India which handle overseas publicity through associates in foreign countries. Each agency specializes in certain markets where it is associated with national/multinational agencies.

For example, Interlards Pvt. Ltd. (New Delhi) has associates in communist countries (Moscow, Berlin, Sofia, Pan Saw, Prague and Budapest). Clarion Advertising Service Ltd. (Calcutta) is associated with multinational agencies in New York. Grant Advertising India Ltd. (Bombay) is associated with the multinational Keryon & Echharelt group of advertising agencies. Hindustan Thompson Associates Ltd. (Bombay) is associated with J. Walter Thompson and Company in 29 countries. Lintas India Ltd. (Bombay) is associated to SSC & B Lintel International Ltd., London.

Trade fairs are an important instrument of export promotion as hundreds of trade fairs and exhibitions are held each year in different parts of the world. The Hanover Fair held each year in April/May covers 23 product groups and is among the largest attended fairs in the world. Each export industry holds certain specialized fairs in different parts of the world.

For example, the Leather Industry holds a number of world fairs—Semaine de Coirs (Paris), Bolonia Fair (Italy), Micam (Mitano), Leather Salon (New York), London Leather Fair (U.K.), Offerback Fair (Germany), Leather Goods Fair (Cologne) and Leipzig Fair. These fairs are important contact points between exporters and importers from all parts of the world. Participation of Indian firms in such trade fairs requires adequate advance preparation. The ITPO handles and assists participation of Indian firms in such fairs and also organizes exclusive trade fairs in India and abroad.

The external services of the All India Radio assist the export promotion activities by projecting India’s commercial and industrial image in foreign countries. This is done through broadcasts of daily commentaries, press services, newscasts, feature talks, interviews, etc. The external services of A.I.R. broadcast in 16 foreign languages including French, Arabic, Persian, Swahili, Russian, English and to target areas in Asia, Europe, Africa and Australia.

The role of export promotion cannot be ignored by individual firms. Exporters dealing with buyers in France and her former colonies, the rear east and Italy should have adequate knowledge of French. Those dealing with importers in Germany, Central Europe and Switzerland require knowledge of German while Spanish is necessary for Spain and its former colonies and Latin America. Knowledge of Arabic and Persian is necessary for the Middle East markets.

These foreign languages are widely used in business correspondence as well as advertisements, package levels, etc. Language schools like Max Mueller and Alliance Franchise teach German and French through their branches in different cities. Cultural departments of certain foreign missions in Delhi also organize language classes and provide interpretation and translation services to exporters.

Exporters not registered as Export Houses/Trading Houses should approach their registering authorities i.e. EP Councils, ITPO, etc. for obtaining MDA grants. Their applications are dealt with by the MOC on the basis of recommendations by the concerned EP Council, etc.