In what could easily be one of the first such steps by any Government globally, India may soon have its own marketplace like Alibaba where Indian merchants and manufacturers can sell their products in overseas.
According to an ET report, the said marketplace, which is a first-of-its-kind in any country, will facilitate all the import transactions. It will act as a one-stop shop for exporters to buy every product that is made or value added in India, be it needles or cars.
This is a very ambitious project which will add brand equity and no other country has such a portal. This has been in the works for quite some time now. said an official about the project.
The project is being undertaken by India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) which is a trust set up by the commerce department. IBEF is building the online platform and it will float a B2B tender in a month for the same.
According to the official cited above, IBEF is planning to launch this business-to-business portal with at least one lakh sellers and plans to scale it up to 5 lakh over time.
The portal and the related digital property will be owned and maintained by IBEF.
Though we are still working on the modalities such as payment mechanism and insurance, the overall sentiment for the project from all departments concerned, is positive.
the official said.
It has also planned to tie up with India Post to help export the products and to insure the transactions taking place on the portal. The portal will be portrayed as a brand in itself.
To maintain the brand image, the government wants to ensure that no dishonest or undependable entities or the so-called fly-by-night operators are present on the portal. So, a major focus will be on the vendor verification.
There is no doubt in the fact that this could well prove to be one of the crucial steps in improving the imports from the country and boost the government initiatives such as Make In India, Skill India etc. Moreover, there are reports of the dwindling number of exports in the past 11 months due to high competition in a weak global economy.
This has made it more difficult to achieve the targeted $300 billion from exports in 2015-16. An initiative like this could certainly prevent a similar situation in the future in addition to keeping a more efficient check on the number of exports from the country.