What is town of export excellence?

Promotion of export sector is an important component of the Government’s trade policies. Several incentives, schemes and infrastructure facilities are provided from time to time for export promotion. Export Oriented Units, Special Economic Zones are some of them. Similarly, Export Promotion Capital Goods Scheme and Duty Credit Scrip are major incentives provided to exporters.

Another set of incentive is in the form of star export houses and towns of export excellence. Start export house statuses (single star, double star etc) are given to export units. On the other hand, towns of export status are given to towns that realize a given volume of export turnover.

Towns of Export Excellence

Here, towns that produce and exports goods worth a minimum value and above in the identified sectors will be given towns of export status.  Usually towns are declared as export excellence because of their specialization in the export of key items like handloom, agriculture, handicraft, fisheries etc. Towns will be notified as Towns of Exports Excellence on the basis of their potential for growth in exports. They will be granted this recognition to maximize their potential, enable them to move higher in the value chain and tap new markets.

As per the present scheme of the central government, an area/cluster that realizes an annual export turnover of Rs 1,000 crores or more will be notified as 'Town of export excellence. However, for TEE in handloom, handicraft, agriculture and fisheries sector, threshold limit would be Rs 150 crore. " Each town will be known for a particular exportable commodity. For example, the trade policy of 2015 has identified Bhimavaram and Visakhapattnam as new towns of export excellence. These new towns of export excellence are known for exports of sea food. Including these two, there are thirty-five towns of export excellence in India.

Usually, the towns of export excellence will be benefited from many promotional programmes launched by the government.

One such scheme is the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme to recognized export Associations. Under the MAI Scheme, financial assistance is provided for export promotion activities on focus country, focus product basis to EPCs, Industry & Trade Associations, etc.  The activities are like market studies/surveys, setting up showroom/warehouse, participation in international trade fairs, publicity campaigns, brand promotion, reimbursement of registration charges for pharmaceuticals, testing charges for engineering products abroad, etc. 

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