Review of duty-free access for ODOP products in trade agreements: Piyush Goyal

India is considering getting duty-free access for different products, identified under the One District One Product (ODOP) initiative, to promote their exports, the Minister of Commerce and Industry said on Monday. Industry, Piyush Goyal. He said these products, which include gold jewelry, toys, handicrafts and looms, offer huge opportunities.

“We are entering into Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) where we are looking at duty-free access for all of these products. In this way, we can create international acceptance for these products,” Goyal said while launching the One District One Product Gift Catalog and Showcase on the GeM government procurement portal here.

In a free trade pact, two or more countries significantly reduce or eliminate tariffs on the maximum number of goods traded between them to boost bilateral trade. India is negotiating trade agreements with countries like the UK, Canada and the European Union.

The Department of Commerce is engaging with national 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, eliminating bottlenecks for exporting these products, helping local exporters/manufacturers to scale up manufacturing and finding potential buyers outside India.

The Minister also suggested a five-point approach to the success of ODOP which includes – developing one-stop gifting destinations with high quality suppliers; involving students from institutions such as the National Institute of Design; and in-depth training sessions for artisans.

“Let us look at the establishment of arts and crafts villages in G20 destinations across India. This can become the seed that will help artisans for years and help tourism and give visibility to ODOP,” said he said, adding that programs like Startup India, Make In India and Open Network for Digital Commerce would do more to boost the initiative.

The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Additional Secretary Sumita Dawra said that integrating ODOP products on the GeM platform would help promote these products.

“There are a lot of opportunities for these products. E-commerce platforms also sell these products,” she said. Additional Chief Secretary – Information, MSMEs and Export Promotion – Navneet Sehgal said states are taking a range of measures to promote goods under the ODOP.

“ODOP helps promote inclusive growth in the state. We strengthen clusters. We are trying to develop a complete ecosystem for these products,” Sehgal said.

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