India's Trade Overview



Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT): Prior to 1991, DGFT was largely involved in regulation and promotion of foreign trade through regulation. Subsequently in line with the trend towards liberalisation and globalization, DGFT is playing the role of a facilitator.

DGFT is responsible for implementation of the Foreign Trade Policy. It also issues licenses to exporters and monitors their obligations through a network of 36 Regional Offices and an extension counter at Indore.

DGFT’s regional offices are located in Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Belagavi, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Chennai, Coimbatore, Cuttack, Dehradun, Ernakulam (Kochi), Guwahati, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Jammu, Kanpur, Kolkata, Ludhiana, Madurai, Moradabad, Mumbai, Nagpur, New Delhi, Panaji (Goa), Panipat, Patna, Puducherry, Pune, Raipur, Rajkot, Shillong, Srinagar, Surat, Thiruvananthapuram, Varanasi, Visakhapatnam, Vadodara and Vijayawada.


Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR): The Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR, earlier known as Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties) was set up in May 2018 as an integrated single window agency for comprehensive and swift trade defence mechanism in India.

Earlier, the Directorate General of Anti-dumping and Allied Duties (DGAD) dealt with anti-dumping and CVD cases, Directorate General of Safeguards (DGS) dealt with safeguard measures and DGFT dealt with quantitative restriction (QR) safeguards. The DGTR deals with anti-dumping, CVD and safeguard measures. It also provides trade defence support to Indian industry and exporters facing trade remedy investigations against them by other countries.

DGTR helps exporters with the help of trade remedial methods under relevant WTO arrangements, Customs Tariff Act & Rules and other relevant laws and International agreements, in a transparent and time bound fashion.

Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S)

DGCIS is the premier organization under the Government of India for collection, compilation and dissemination of India’s trade statistics and commercial information. This Directorate is entrusted with the work of collecting, compiling and publishing/disseminating trade statistics and various types of commercial information for the benefit of policy makers, researchers, importers, exporters, traders and overseas buyers.

DGCI&S receives basic data in the form of DTRs (Daily Trade Returns) from different Customs formations and the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as a part of the administrative data generated whenever any international merchandise trade takes place. The Customs Authority transmits these DTRs in three different modes, namely, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), Non-EDI and Manual. The EDI data is transmitted on-line daily through Indian Customs EDI Gateway (ICEGATE). From the remaining ports, the monthly merchandise trade data is transmitted through e-mail, CD or manually typed/hand written paper schedules. DTRs from the SEZs are being received through NSDL on a daily basis. DGCIS processes and compiles the raw data received using state-of-the-art technology.


Office of Development Commissioner of Special Economic Zones (SEZs)

The SEZ Scheme aims to improve economic activity, promote exports of goods and services, promote investment from domestic and foreign sources and create employment opportunities along with the development of infrastructure facilities. All laws of India are applicable in SEZs unless specifically exempted as per the SEZ Act/ Rules. Each Zone is headed by a Development Commissioner and is administered as per the SEZ Act, 2005 and SEZ Rules, 2006.

Units may be established in the SEZ for manufacturing, trading or service activity. They have to be net foreign exchange earners but are not subject to any predetermined value addition (except for gems & jewellery units) or minimum export performance requirements. Sales in the Domestic Tariff Area from SEZ units are treated as imports and subject to applicable customs duties.

The benefit of MEIS/SEIS schemes has been extended to SEZ entities w.e.f. April 2015.

State Trading Corporation of India Ltd: STC was set up on 18th May, 1956 primarily with a view to undertake trade with East European countries and to supplement the efforts of private trade and industry in developing exports from the country. It has arranged imports of essential items of mass consumption (such as wheat, pulses, sugar, edible oils, etc.) into India and contributed significantly in developing exports of a number of items. The core strength of STC lies in handling exports/ imports of bulk agro commodities. It has also diversified into exports of steel, iron ore, molasses and imports of bullion, hydrocarbons, minerals, metals, fertilizers, petro-chemicals, etc. Since liberalisation, the Corporation carries out most of its business operations purely on commercial terms in the competitive global trading environment.


MMTC Ltd: The MMTC Limited was created in 1963 as an independent entity on separation from State Trading Corporation of India Ltd. primarily to deal in exports of minerals and ores and imports of non-ferrous metals. In 1970, MMTC it expanded into fertilizer raw material and finished fertilizers. Over the years, MMTC has diversified into import and export of various other items like steel, diamonds, bullion, agro, hydrocarbon, etc. It has grown over the years to become one of the largest trading organizations in India.


PEC Ltd: PEC Ltd (formerly – The Project and Equipment Corporation of India Ltd.) was carved out of the STC in 1971-72 to take over the canalized business of STC’s railway equipment division, to diversify into turn-key projects especially outside India and to aid and assist in promotion of exports of Indian engineering equipment. The main functions of PEC Ltd. include export of projects, engineering equipment and manufactured goods, defence equipment & stores, import of industrial raw materials, bullion and agro commodities, consolidation of existing lines of business and simultaneously developing new products and new markets; diversification in export of non-engineering items eg. coal and coke, iron ore, edible oils, steel scraps, etc.; and structuring counter trade/ special trading arrangements for further exports. Over the years, it has diversified with industrial raw materials, commodities and bullion constituting major part of its turnover and profit.


Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd: ECGC Ltd. (Formerly known as Export Credit Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd.) wholly owned by Government of India, was set up in 1957 to promote exports by providing credit risk insurance and related services. Over the years, it has developed different export credit risk insurance products to suit the requirements of Indian exporters. The insurance covers enable banks to extend timely and adequate export credit facilities to the exporters. ECGC keeps its premium rates at the optimal level.

ECGC provides

(i) A range of insurance covers to Indian exporters against the risk of non – realization of export proceeds due to commercial or political risks
(ii) Different types of credit insurance covers to banks and other financial institutions to enable them to extend credit facilities to exporters and
(iii) Export Factoring facility for MSME sector which is a package of financial products consisting of working capital financing, credit risk protection, maintenance of sales ledger and collection of export receivables from the buyer located in overseas country.

The Government has approved infusion of Rs 2,000 crore during 2017-18 and 2019-20. During FY 2017-18, ECGC supported exports & export loans of Rs. 6.41 lakh crore which benefitted around 20,000 distinct exporters. The share of MSMEs in these beneficiaries is more than 85%.


India Trade Promotion Organisation: India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) provides a broad spectrum of services to trade and industry and acts as a catalyst for growth of India’s trade. The main objectives of ITPO are:

• To promote external and domestic trade of India in cost effective manner by organizing and participating in international trade fairs in India and abroad; organizing buyer-seller meets and contact promotion programmes abroad; conducting overseas market surveys, exchanging and contact promotion programmes abroad; conducting overseas market surveys, exchanging and coordinating visits of business delegations, and undertake need based research to facilitate trade in specific sectors/markets;
• To support and assist small and medium enterprises to access markets both in India and abroad;
• To disseminate trade information and facilitate E-commerce/trade;
• To develop quality physical infrastructure, services and management so as to enable holding of trade promotion events such as conventions and trade exhibitions of international standard; and
• To enlist the involvement and support of the State Governments, other government trade promotion agencies, trade and industry associations in trade promotion of India’s external and domestic trade.
• With its Headquarters at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi and regional offices at Bangalore, Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai; ITPO ensures representative participation of trade and industry from different regions of the country in its events in India and abroad.


Export Inspection Council

The Export Inspection Council (EIC) is the official export-certification body of India, which ensures quality and safety of products exported from India. EIC was set up to ensure sound development of export trade of India through quality control and inspection and matters connected therewith. The role of EIC is to ensure that products notified under the Export (Quality Control and Inspection) Act 1963 are meeting the requirements of the importing countries in respect of their quality and safety.

EIC provides mandatory certification for various food items – fish & fishery products, dairy products, honey, egg products, meat and meat products, poultry meat products, animal casing, Gelatine, Ossein and crushed bones and feed additive and pre-mixtures while other food and non-food products are certified on voluntary basis.

Website :

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up by Government of India on 2nd May, 1963 with a focus on foreign trade related research and training. Today, its academic activities cover the entire gamut of international business. It is widely recognized for its knowledge and resource base, rich heritage and for strong alumni network both in India and abroad. It was accorded the status of “Deemed University” in May 2002 by University Grants Commission (UGC) enabling it to award degrees and start its own doctoral programme. On the basis of review by the Expert Committee constituted by UGC, IIFT has been granted “Deemed University” status on a permanent basis in February, 2012.


Indian Institute of Packaging

The Indian Institute of Packaging is an autonomous body in the field of packaging technology. The main objective of this Institute is to promote exports through innovative package design and development and upgrade packaging standards at the national level. Its main functions are education and Research & Development in the field of packaging. The Institute and its branches have been conducting a full time two years Post Graduate Diploma Programme in packaging technology.

Web Site:

Indian Institute of Plantation Management (IIPM)

IIPM is an autonomous institution set up by the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India in 1990 to provide professional management education in the field of plantation sector. The Institute provides education, research, training, development and consultancy services to the industry and other agencies engaged in economic and social development of the plantation & associated agro-business sector.


The Department also has the following export promotion councils under its administrative control for export promotion of target sectors:

Export promotion council/autonomous body/board Sector Website
Marine Products Export Development Authority Marine products
Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority Agricultural and processed food products
Coffee Board Coffee
Tea Board Tea
Spices Board Spices
Rubber Board Rubber
Tobacco Board Tobacco
EEPC India Engineering
Project Exports Promotion Council of India (PEPC) Civil and Engineering (EPC) construction including process engineering contractors and consultants
Basic Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals and Cosmetics Export Promotion Council (Chemexcil) Dyes and Dye Intermediates; Basic Inorganic & Organic Chemicals, including Agrochemicals; Cosmetics, Soaps, Toiletries & Essential Oils; Speciality Chemicals, Lubricants And Castor oil
Chemicals and Allied Products Export Promotion Council (CAPEXIL) Chemical and Allied Products
Council for Leather Exports Leather & leather products
Sports Goods Export Promotion Council Sports goods & toys
Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Gems & jewellery
Shellac Export Promotion Council Shellac and lac-based products
Cashew Export Promotion Council of India Cashew kernels and cashew nut shell liquid
The Plastics Export Promotion Council Plastics
Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZ Units (EPCES) Export  Oriented Units and Special Economic Zones
Pharmaceutical Export Promotion Council Pharmaceuticals
Indian Oil Seeds & Produce Export Promotion Council (IOPEPC) Oilseeds and oils
Services Export Promotion Council Services