April 12 2023

Decentralized Export Promotion- Districts as Export Hubs Initiative

Source: Invest India - National Investment Promotion & Facilitation Agency

Foreign trade today constitutes 45% of India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Strategies to increase exports need the active assistance of the State Governments, given the variety of factors that go into creating an enabling and favourable foreign trade environment. Therefore, in order for exports to rise exponentially, states must actively participate in export promotion operations.

The Honble’ Prime Minister of India's aspiration for each district to become an export hub shifted attention to the need for districts to be active stakeholders in the promotion of exports of goods and services produced or manufactured there. To increase local production and make districts active participants in promoting the export growth of local goods/services, the export promotion activity has to be decentralised. Every district has products and services which are being exported, and can be further promoted, along with new products / services, to increase production, generate economic activity and achieve the goal of Atmanirbhar Bharat, Vocal for Local and Make in India.

The Foreign Trade Policy (FTP) 2023-28 of India has thus taken up the goal to boost India’s foreign trade through decentralized export promotion. One of the strategies outlined in the policy is the Districts as Export Hubs Initiative. This initiative aims to identify potential export products and services in all districts and create institutional mechanisms to promote them.


  • To enable MSMEs, farmers, and small businesses to benefit from export opportunities in foreign markets.
  • To shift focus on District led Export Growth for self-sufficiency and self reliance
  • Attract investment in the District to and boost manufacturing and exports
  • Create a district-level ecosystem for innovation and technology utilisation to increase export competitiveness.
  • Reduce transaction cost for the exporter at various stages of export cycle
  • Handholding and assistance to exporters by doorstep delivery of timely and relevant information
  • Providing platforms for wide and global reach of products and services from the district through E-commerce and Digital marketing which in turn, will promote Artisans, Farmers, Handicraft, Handloom, tourism and other cottage industries


The Districts as Export Hubs Initiative proposed under the FTP 2023-28 aims to boost India’s foreign trade through decentralized export promotion. The initiative proposes many strategies such as creating an institutional framework, identifying potential export products, capacity building for new exporters, conducting export promotion outreach programs, addressing infrastructure and logistics bottlenecks, and converging ongoing government schemes to support these initiatives.

The implementation of these strategies is expected to create an enabling environment for exports at the district level, which will lead to increased foreign trade and economic growth for India. It is hoped that the initiative will encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to explore the potential of exports, thereby contributing to the overall growth of the Indian economy.

In conclusion, the Districts as Export Hubs Initiative is a step in the right direction towards achieving the goal of boosting India’s foreign trade through decentralized export promotion. It is important that the initiative is implemented effectively to realize its potential in promoting exports and driving economic growth in India.

Source: Investindia.gov.in