To implement the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to convert each district into an export hub as announced by him in his Independence Day Speech in 2019   

Districts As Export Hubs

To implement the vision of the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India to convert each district into an export hub as announced by him in his Independence Day Speech in 2019, the Government of India is working with the State / UT Governments towards the achievement of these objectives through an institutional mechanism being created at the district level.

Department of Commerce through the Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is engaging with State / UT Governments to take forward this initiative in the districts and enable its implementation in a phased manner, with the objective of mobilizing the potential of each district of the country to achieve its potential as an export hub.


Objectives of the District as Export Hub initiative is as under

  • • To enable MSMEs, farmers and small industries to get benefit of export opportunities in the overseas markets.
  • • To shift focus on District led Export Growth for self-sufficiency and selfreliance
  • • Attract investment in the District to boost manufacturing and exports
  • • Provide ecosystem for Innovation/ use of Technology at District level to make them export competitive
  • • 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
  • • To generate employment in the District
  • • Providing platforms for wide and global reach of products and services from the district through E-commerce and Digital marketing. Promoting Artisans, Farmers, Handicraft, Handloom, tourism and other cottage industries

Initiatives Envisaged - District as Export Hub

The envisaged initiatives in the District as Export Hub include the following:

Institutional/Policy Interventions • Preparation of State Export Strategy/Policy by all State/UT Governments
• Product/Service identification in each District
• Constitution of District Export Promotion Committees(DEPC)
• Preparation of District Export Action Plans(DEAPs)
• Monitoring implementation of DEAPs
• Identifying Agricultural Clusters in the Districts
• Mapping GI product in each District
• Export Development Centres ( E-Commerce in Districts )
Strategic measures • Infrastructure and logistics support
• E-Commerce/Marketing/Branding
• Skill Development/Training/Testing facilities
• Research and Development/Technology Upgradation
• Export promotion outreach activities

Creation of Institutional Mechanism:

District Export Promotion Committees:

As part of this initiative, an institutional mechanism is being set up in each District in the form of District Export Promotion Committees (DEPCs) that may be headed by DM/Collector/DC/District Development Officer of the District and various other stakeholders as its members. The primary function of the DEPC will be to prepare and act on District Specific Export Action Plans in collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders from the center, State and the District level.

The preliminary exercise will include an assessment of a district to identify the current export profile, its further potential in the district, quantifiable targets to increase export performance from the District. This involves identifying and promoting products, which are currently being exported from there, and also identifying and promoting new products in the district with export potential. These efforts are to be taken forward through an institutional mechanism to undertake a baseline study across goods and services, to map current export activities and the future potential along with the infrastructure and other constraints and bottlenecks that would need to be addressed to achieve this potential.

All key officers related to agriculture, horticulture, livestock, fisheries, handicrafts, handlooms and industry in the district and also the Lead Bank Manager will work towards the participation of key Export Promotion Councils, Quality and Technical Standards Bodies, Government of India departments like MSME, Heavy Industry, Revenue and Textiles will be part of the initial meetings. The initial meetings in the identified Districts are being conducted by the DGFT Regional Authorities in collaboration with the District and State Authorities.

Serial No. Official/Department Role
1 Collector/DM/DC/District Development Office/CDO Chairperson
2 Designated DGFT RA Co-Chairperson
3 GM – District Industries Center (DIC) Convener
4 Nominated member from the State Government( Commerce & Industries Department) Member
5 Lead Bank Manager Member
6 Representative - Department of MSME, Govt. of India Member
7 Representative – Sector Specific Export promotion Council Member
8 Representative – Quality & Standards Implementation body Member
9 Representative from District Trade/Commerce Associations Member
10 Sector Specific Ministry in Government of India (Agriculture, Fisheries, plantation boards etc.) Member
11 Sector Specific Ministry of the State Government Member
12 Sectoral Agencies specific to Product identified in each District (NABARD etc.) Member

Role of District Export Promotion Committee (DEPC)

DEPC will focus on the specific actions required to support local exporters / manufacturers in producing exportable products in adequate quantity and with the requisite quality, and reaching potential buyers outside India.The primary function of the DEPC will be to prepare and act on District Specific Export Action Plans in collaboration with all the relevant stakeholders from the Center, State and the District.

Effort shall be made by the DEPC in each District to identify the issues of local exporters and industries and take it up with the concerned departments/ministries at the State or Centre for quick resolution. Support in the form of product/sector specific training and development needs of local industries, dissemination of information through outreach activities including buyer-seller meets, trade fairs, workshops etc. shall be provided in each District.

The role/functions of the District Export Promotion Committee broadlyincludes:

1. Prepare a time-bound, detailed District Export Action strategy / plan for the district to develop as an export hub.

2. Benchmarking baseline export performance of the district, including identification of products and services currently exported with export volumes, destinations etc. and additional products/services with good promise of targeting export markets.

3. Comprehensive analysis of the strength of each district and the gaps in product quality/design, production efficiency/competitiveness, infrastructure, logistics, utilities, enforcement of standards etc. with a view to identifying interventions to enhance export of existing goods and services being exported and achieving the potential available for export of new goods and services.

4. Goods and services being manufactured/produced in the district, identify the export potential of items available in such districts (including GI products).

5. Map the existing trade infrastructure available for thrust sector in the districts.

6. Identify major bottlenecks and challenges hindering export of thrust sector in the districts.

7. Identify thrust Items/GI Products/Agricultural items from export perspective for further in-depth analysis.

8. Identifying training and development needs of District industries and coordination for training with other departments.

9. The exercise will be carried out through interaction with a wide array of district based stakeholders ranging from producers, exporters etc. and relevant stakeholders outside the district also. Towards this end consultation meetings, seminars, workshops may be organized.

10.Entry of all district level data/ information/progress into the portal being developed by DGFT and through the portal activate a virtual engagement/interaction forum for involving evolving and reaching out to all stakeholders in the district, by enabling/facilitating them to come on board.

11.Act as a grievance redressal forumfor exporters and follow up with the concerned Central and State agency.

12. Facilitate in organising buyer-seller meets, exhibitions, trade fairs etc. in the District to encourage the industries to showcase their products to the world.

13.Implementing the District Export Action Plan in a phased manner to ensure the District achieves the targeted export growth.

District Export Action Plans (DEAP)

The District Export Action Plan will include clear identification of products (goods and services) with export potential in the District. The plan may include institutional/other responsibilities, specifics of policy, regulatory and operational reform, and infrastructure/utilities/logistics interventions required across the entire chain from producer/farm to the export destination, to cover aspects like production, productivity/competitiveness, improvements required in design, tie up of producers with exporters, aggregation, sorting, testing, certification, packaging, transportation through cold chain or otherwise, import export formalities, fulfillment of destination countries standards etc. It will also include Identifying bottlenecks/Issues in GI production, registration, marketing and its exports.

The plan will also include the support required by the local industry in boosting their manufacturing and exports with impetus on supporting the industry from the production stage to the exporting stage. Informative material on various incentives provided by the Government of India and the respective State Government of exporters will be disseminated to the industry and other potential exporters.

The Plan will also include strategy to enhance logistics and infrastructure at the district level and better utilization of the Market Access Initiative (MAI) Scheme of the Department of Commerce for inviting foreign buyers under reverse buyer-seller meets at the District level, suitably gathering district level commodity and services exports data including through GSTN and Customs ICEGATE System.

A District Export Action Plan may include the following:

  • • District Profile
  • • Industries Profile
  • • Major Products (Goods and Services) Exported from District
  • • Other Products/Sectors with Potential to export in Future
  • • Identifying the bottlenecks faced by the Industry
  • • Identifying institutional responsibilities, specifics of policy, regulatory and operational reform
  • • Identifying infrastructure/utilities/logistics/Policy interventions required.
  • • Action Plan must define quantifiable targetswith specific timelines for their implementation.
  • • Clear identification of incentives/Support provided by the State and Central Government.
  • • Training and development needs for identified export products
  • • Analysis of the export data of the District and ways and means to effectively capture it.
  • • Mid-term and long-term export strategy/suggestions to promote the District as Export Hub.

State/ UTs Government will be assisted by DGFT in preparing an annual “Export Ranking Index” of different districts in a particular State/ UT to rank each district on its export competitiveness.

Challenges of Capturing District Level Export Data

On 5th February, 2020, CBIC vide circular No 09/2020 has issued instructions for incorporating additional attributes in the Shipping Bill from the 15th February, 2020 to capture District and State of origin of goods exported. This will assist in compiling District level export data for determining the export performance of each District.

To ensure export data from the District is accurately captured without relying entirely on the submission by the exporter at the time of export (Shipping bill), Department of Commerce hasengaged with Ministry of Finance to find out ways to gather data at the level of GSTN and ICEGATE. ICEGATE has started generating District wise export data from September 2020 onwards. This data will act as a baseline indicator for measuring export performance in the Districts.


The outcome will be dependent on the implementation of District Export Action Plans (DEAP) that will lead to improvement in trade specific ecosystem within the districts. This will support and enhance export logistics and infrastructure, disseminate information to support scaling up of local businesses and provide ease of access to the exporters in the form of branding, packaging, testing, certification etc. to make them export competitive.

The quantifiable targets identified in the DEAPs will guide the various government agencies both at the Center and the State/UT to work collectively to resolve issues faced by the exporters of the District.

In the next 5 years, it is targeted that export growth of double digits is registered from 350 Districts of the country, with significant growth in the exports of identified products/services from each District.