Trade Promotion Programmes are in Operation with the European Union to Augment Indian Exports

The project has been extended up to 1999. The German assistance for the present three year phase (1997-99) is to the tune of DM 12 million.

The sectors being covered by IGEP’s current activities include (i) silk/textiles (ii) leather shoes/apparel/articles (iii) gold/silver jewellery (iv) arts and crafts (v) bicycle/auto parts (vi) engineering goods/castings and forgings (vii) computer software and IT products, etc.

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2. Indo-British Partnership Initiative (IBPI):

In 1997-98, the important outcome of the visit of British Prime Minister Mr John Major to India in January 1993 was the launching of the Indo-British Partnership Initiative (IBPI).

This is an industry driven initiative, sponsored by CII on the Indian side and CBI on the British side. This initiative envisages action to be taken on both sides, to increase awareness of investment opportunities in selected sectors, achieving a quantum jump in bilateral trade and providing better access to the British industry for establishing manufacturing units in India for export to third countries.

A core group of 24 CEOs was setup to identify and initiate activities under the initiative. IBPI has now become the mascot of the Indo-British economic cooperation.

3. Indian International Marketing Centre (IIMC), Rotterdam:

In tune with the ongoing liberalisation programmes in India, private enterprises are now being encouraged and assisted to provide marketing logistics support to Indian exporters. The Indian International Marketing Centre Limited (IIMC) was thus established at Rotterdam in the private sector, with financial subsidy and backing of the Government of the Netherlands. It is supported mainly by a group of Indian entrepreneurs.

The objectives of IIMC are (a) to promote export of Indian goods and products (b) to establish offices, marketing centres, distribution centres, warehousing facilities, and processing activities in India and abroad (c) to act as a nodal agency to bring buyers, sellers, exporters and importers together by undertaking export promotional activities (d) to source technologies for the Indian industry and trade.

The main activity of the centre which has commenced operation in November, 1995, is to provide marketing services to Indian exporters and to strengthen their export effort to Europe from its strategic location in Rotterdam, the biggest port in Europe.

4. Indo-EU Economic Cross Cultural Programme (IECCP):

A six year multi­dimensional cooperation project entitled Indo-EU Economic Cross Cultural Programme (IECCP) has been launched in November 1996, with EU financial assistance to the tune of Euro 30 million (roughly equivalent to US $40 million).

Activities to be implemented under the programme, centres around the three broad sectors viz., (i) media and communication (ii) university and studies and (iii) entrepreneurial dimensions. The programme aims to encourage and develop links between European and Indian cultural organisations/research centres /universities /professionals /decision makers / opinion formers and industry.

It would raise the profile of European Union in India and vice-versa and strengthen a two way dynamic economic / cultural presence in the regions. Institutions/agencies doing work in these sectors have been called upon to propose suitable projects for being financed out of the above project funds.

The project would be advised and managed by a scientific committee consisting of three members each from India and EU and a management agency contracted by the EC. A total number of 29 projects have been approved for EU financing to the tune of Euro 9.45 million, after the first call for proposals.

5. Indo-EU Partenariat:

The concept of Indo-EU Partenariat is a model cooperation project for enhancing industrial and business cooperation between India and EU.

Under this, match-making between Indian and EUSMEs would be firmed up, benefitting both sides. Both India and EU are interested in the successful implementation of this project and its follow up, up to March 2000. Groundwork for this programme is already on, both in India and in EU.

The programme was inaugurated on 14th March, 1999 and the match­making exercises were held on 15th and 16th of March 1999. A high level steering committee under the chairmanship of the secretary, IPP has been constituted for the implementation of the Partenariat.

The committee has the EU Ambassador in India and FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CII as its members. The total budget for the programme would come to Rs 5.36 crores, which is to be equally shared by both the sides. EU funding comes out of the Asia- Invest contributions.

The sectors to be covered by the Partenariat include:

i. Chemicals and Plastic Processing

ii. Electronics and Information Technology (Hardware)

iii. Environmental Technology

iv. Food Processing and Packaging

v. Light Engineering

vi. Software and Other Services

6. Asia-Invest:

An EU funded “Asia-Invest Programme” is under implemen­tation for industry organisations and individual enterprises for seeking EU’s financial grants. Two calls seeking proposals under this programme have been issued so far.

India is an important partner country for implementation of this regional project, aimed at enhanced investment cooperation between the two regions. EU is providing Euro 45 million (roughly equivalent to US $ 50 million) as co-finance for implementation of the project, to facilitate direct cooperation between Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) of the two regions.

Proposals could be submitted for market research/monitoring activities, tie up for possible cooperation projects, upgradiation of language and business culture, skills to conduct business in new markets, upgradation and adaptation of standards, etc.

The priority sectors identified for funding are automotive, building machinery/equipments, processed foods, transport, environment, energy and service sector industries. Proposals need to be preferably supported by counterpart European companies or organisations.

Different instruments under the Asia-Invest could be tapped by strategies, and also used to identify suitable cooperating partners.

The programme would also provide information to make right decisions on partnerships, markets, investments, etc. Apex Organisations like FICCI, CII, SIDBI, NSIC etc. coordinate the participation of Indian SMEs in this programme.

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