World Trade Expo generates tremendous response from 37 countries and 4 state governments

Shri. Suresh Prabhu says Indian economy to leapfrog to USD 5 trillion in coming years

Union Minister for Commerce and Industry, Shri Suresh Prabhu lauded World Trade Expo 2017, a first-of-its-kind event in the financial capital of India. The expo was organized jointly by All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and World Trade Centre Mumbai on November 16-17, 2017.

In his video message, Shri Prabhu said, “World Trade Expo will bring in new benefits to trade and industry. We are currently USD 2.5 trillion economy and in the next few years, we will be the third largest economy in the world with a GDP of USD 5 trillion. Our trade in services and goods is set to increase many-fold. We are going to import more and we are also going to export more. We will also offer services in different kinds. We already have USD 150 billion industry in information technology. We have a large tourism market, we have a large telecommunication market. We are also a leader in financial services.” He further added that the GST will create more business opportunities and provide impetus to economic growth. After reforms like GST, the world is looking more seriously towards India as trade and investment hub.

Dr. Arun Kumar Panda, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Government of India said“Every village in India has traditional expertise and skills. They need the right platform to showcase it. World Trade Expo 2017 is a unique platform to integrate India’s khadi and village industries, micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the global value chain. There are around 60 million MSMEs in India and they contribute 90% to the industrial sector of the country. India’s MSMEs and rural industries are known for ‘frugal innovation’. Events such as World Trade Expo will help in providing MSMEs a platform to scale up their operation to global level. ”

The inaugural session was also attended by Shri B. H. Anil Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Government of India, Dr. Norbert Révai-Bere, Dean, Consular Corps in Mumbai & Consul General of Hungary in Mumbai, Shri. Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC and Dr. Sonia Sethi, IAS, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Mumbai.

World Trade Expo 2017 was a great success with the participation of more than 37 countries, four state governments and more than 3,000 visitors representing agriculture, healthcare, technology, education, manufacturing, tourism and so on visited this unique expo. The event showcased products and services of industry clusters, start-up enterprises, women entrepreneurs, khadi and village industries. More than 15,000 B2B meetings were held during November 16-17, 2017 which will result in various business opportunities, technical collaboration, joint ventures, exports, imports and other forms of commercial partnerships.

The participating Ambassadors and Consul Generals expressed optimism on the evolving economic partnership with India. Diplomats from Peru, Bangladesh, Rwanda, Bolivia, Sri Lanka and Indonesia showcased various investment opportunities and tourism potential in their regions.

Earlier, Dr. Révai-Bere, Consul General of Hungary in Mumbai said, “Incredible India is a land of opportunity. In the last three years, bilateral trade between India and Hungary has grown considerably. This expo offers best opportunity for Hungary to build network and establish sustainable partnership with Indian business.” He hoped that the next edition of World Trade Expo will have at least 100 countries participating which will give a big boost to international trade relations.

Speaking on the scope for bilateral partnership, H.E. Mr. Sergio Arispe Barrientos, Ambassador Designate, Embassy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia said, “The economy of Bolivia holds tremendous business opportunity for Indian companies. Government of Bolivia has lined up an investment in 10,000 mw of hydroelectric power projects and it has planned USD 10 billion worth of projects in infrastructure sector. Mining of lithium, iron ore and copper also offer tremendous investment potential for India. Bolivia shares border with six Latin American countries. The country is not only a hub for manufacturing, but it is also a gateway to Latin America, USA and Canada.”

In his remarks, H.E. Ernest Rwamucyo, High Commissioner of Rwanda to India said, “Investors from India are invited to explore business opportunities in a country ranked number 2 in ‘Doing Business in Africa’ with zero tolerance to corruption. With abundant opportunities in sectors such as tourism, agro-processing, manufacturing, information and communication technologies and many others, Rwanda is ready for harvest.” He urged Indian business community to use Rwanda as the ‘Gateway to Africa’ adding that the state-owned Rwanda Air connects more than 26 destinations in Africa with direct flights from Mumbai.

The event also featured a highly impactful panel discussion on ‘Women: Evolving Business’. Women achievers in business, law, media and education participated in the panel discussion and shared their perspectives onwomen’s empowerment in business and society.

Earlier in his welcome remarks, Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai said, “The 37 participating countries account for 17% of India’s total trade. There is great potential to increase this share to 25% in the course of time. This expo aims to improve India’s international trade by supporting MSMEs, industry clusters, khadi and village industries and start-up companies. The event also promotes India’s ambitious policies such as Start-up India, Digital India, Make in India and so on. World Trade Expo will be made an annual event with an aim to connect India’s MSMEs, women-owned business and start-up enterprises to the world market.”

Mr. Kalantri suggested Ministry of MSMEs to hold periodic interactions with the regional MSME associations to understand their grievances and resolve them. He also suggested Government of India to revive Standing Committees for promote export and support MSMEs. Mr. Kalantri also recommended the adoption of the concept ‘One Village, One Product’ to encourage grassroot entrepreneurs in villages.

The event was attended by diplomats of Argentina, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Russia, Botswana, Brazil, Congo, Gabon, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Fiji, Indonesia, Hungary, Jordan, Malaysia, Uzbekistan, Norway, Peru, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Rwanda, Basque Region of Spain, Lesotho and South Korea, among others. Industry bodies such as The Indo-Italian Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry also participated in the expo.

Distinguished guests attending the lamp lighting ceremony at World Trade Expo 2017. (From Left to Right) Mr. Vijay Kalantri, President, All India Association of Industries (AIAI) and Vice Chairman, World Trade Centre Mumbai, Dr. Sonia Sethi, IAS, Additional Director General of Foreign Trade, Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Mumbai, Shri. Vinai Kumar Saxena, Chairman, KVIC, Dr. Arun Kumar Panda, Secretary, Ministry of MSME, Government of India, Dr. Norbert Révai-Bere, Dean, Consular Corps in Mumbai & Consul General of Hungary in Mumbai