ROLE OF EXPORT PROMOTION AGENCIES IN INTERNATIONAL TRADE Presentation by R. ASOKAN Jt. Director FEDERATION OF INDIAN EXPORT ORGANISATIONS Southern Region
Sourcing Names and Addresses of Importers
who are visiting India for their purchases,
the exporters come across the importers during their export promotional tours abroad and
followed by letters of importers showing interest in importing goods from India
Buying House Agents
important Websites available in the Internet
Role Of Export Promotion Organisations The Government of India have established a number of institutions and organisations and Corporations for promoting exports from India. Export Promotion Organisations and Institutions can broadly be classified into the following categories: - Government Departments - Export Promotion Councils / Commodity Boards - Service Institutions - Inspection Agencies - Export Corporations.
Indian Institute of Foreign Trade
India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO)
Director General of Foreign Trade
Indian Council of Arbitration
Indian Institute of Packaging
Export Import Bank (EXIM Bank)
Export Inspection Council (EIC)
Survey of Target Markets
Information on prospective markets is vital, both for new as well as established exporters interested in enhancing their exports. The following key details regarding the potential markets are essential to exporters—
Size of the market
Demand supply gap
Such preliminary market information will help exporters in identifying potential markets for their products.
Trade Enquiries After gaining an understanding of the market for their products, the next requirement of exporters is to identify trade enquiries. Though there are a number of sources providing such information, there is need for a single source to monitor all business opportunities and trade enquiries emanating globally. In addition, exporters are also interested in posting their trade offers to prospective partners abroad.
Product Development and Fashion Trends This is a key requirement for exporters keen on benchmarking their products with the best available globally. In industries like leather and apparel, this information is critical for the local exporters to plan their raw material procurement, well in advance of the season, to suit the future requirements of the market. Customer preferences in electronics industry also reported to be fast changing and exporters would need to fine-tune their product features to stay in business. This information may not be critical to small exporters who are mostly job order dependent, wherein the overseas buyer dictates the product specifications and features.
Credit Appraisal of Trading Partners Traditionally, overseas trading partners are either identified through personal visits abroad or through agents and brokers. With the evolution of the Internet as a medium for identifying trade opportunities, it becomes increasingly important to examine the credit-worthiness of the identified buyer before exporting the products. This step is very essential for Indian exporters to safeguard themselves from unreliable trading partners abroad.
Regulations/Tariffs relating to Imports and Exports Globally, countries are forced to modify their trade policies to suit the dynamically changing business scenario. Exporters feel the need for a single source providing country-wise updated import and export policies. This would also help them in identifying markets in countries with favourable import policies.
Current Sources— Publications of Industry Associations and Bodies. Mailers and Bulletins from Export Promotion Councils & FIEO Online Data Sources -- The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry makes available its online database. ASSOCHAM, CII, FIEO have also established a databank for the benefit of its members. Overseas Trade Journals Industry Specific Pages Port Based Information on Exports and Imports
Trade and Business Enquiries
Some of the reputed sources for global trade enquiries include
Import-Export Bulletin Board (IEBB) / STAT-USA
Reuters Network for Tenders
World Trade Center (WTC) Network
Country Profiles and Import Export Policies
With the emergence of the global market, it is essential for Indian exporters to know about a country’s political climate and future of its economy before deciding g on any long-term business relationships. Sites providing reliable information on countries include:
Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU)
These sites are well updated and comprehensive. Sites like EIU also provide a rating on risks associated with trading with a country based on its current economic performance and is likely future.
Latest Traded Prices of Certain Commodities Latest traded price information in important global markets is important for exporters of leather and agricultural products. International Trade Center (ITC), Geneva, regularly monitors trade prices and forwards the same to subscribers through email.
Credit appraisal is a key requirement for medium and small-scale exporters, for which the internationally recognized sources are:
Dun & Bradstreet (D&B)
TRW is an important source for information on small and medium sized companies.
POPULAR CREDIT RATNG AGENCIES WORLDWIDE
Alexander and Hamilton International custom credit reporting
Canadian Credit Reporting Ltd. Canadian-based, investigative credit reporting agency, operating out of Toronto
http:// www.canadiancredit.com /
China Credit Information Service Credit reporting for Taiwanese companies
http:// www.cofacerating.com / A global credit rating system, rating the security of the trade debt of any company. "Trade debt" means any debt up to 6 months, in the 1,000-100,000 euros (or USD) range, which is the range of most of e-commerce transactions,
http:// www.cofacerating.com /
Credit Exchange Company that offers various credit and collection services specific to the transportation industry
http:// www.creditexchange.com /
Credit FYI Credit reports for small US businesses with sales less than $5 million
http:// www.creditfyi.com /
Credit Information Reports from Business Credit Management UK Complete UK companies credit reporting service
http:// www.creditman.co.uk /
Credit Management Information & Support Links to most credit reporting agencies and other credit management Web sites
http:// www.creditworthy.com /
Credit Report Latin America & World Credit reports from Latin America and other countries
http:// www.crla.com /
Credit Risk Monitor Online Internet based financial information and news service that follows almost 400 U.S. publicly held retail chains and wholesalers
http:// www.creditriskmonitor.com /
Disclosure Provider of financial intelligence delivered via online and CD-ROM-based research tools. Subscribers have access to a full range of proprietary and third-party company information.
http:// www.disclosure.com /
Duff & Phelps Credit Rating International credit reports
Dun & Bradstreet Information Services Dun & Bradstreet Information Services is the world's leading provider of business to business information and decision-support services. DBIS gathers and manages information on more than 40 million businesses worldwide and markets its products in more than 120 countries.
http:// www.dunandbradstreet.com /
Equifax Worldwide business and consumer credit reports
http:// www.equifax.com /
Experian TRW Information Systems & Services (IS&S) is a leading provider of consumer and business credit, direct marketing and real estate information services and high-volume transaction-processing systems
http:// www.experian.com /
POPULAR CREDIT RATNG AGENCIES WORLDWIDE
F&D Reports Credit solutions to manufacturers, wholesalers/distributors, and retailers of food, pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics, apparel and other products.
http:// www.fdreports.com /
FCIB International Credit and Country Report International independent credit reports
http:// www.fcibglobal.com /
Global Credit Reports Listings and links to local credit reporting agencies worldwide
Graydon Credit Management Services Global credit reports and credit information management services
http:// www.graydon.co.uk /
Infospectrum Provider of credit reports and commercial research to the international business world.
http:// www.infospectrum.net /
J.I. International Worldwide credit reports
http:// www.jiintl.com /
Kreller International Services Worldwide credit reports
http:// www.kreller.com /
MRC Consultancy Services Ltd. Company reports for the marine, energy, industrial, commodities and transportation markets.
http:// www.mrcinfo.com /
Owens On-Line Online credit information service with over 8.5 million company files
http:// www.owens.com /
SCRL Group Credit information about all companies in France
http:// www.scrl.com /
TCM India Credit reports for India and worldwide
http:// www.tcmindia.com /
UK Data Ltd Online credit reports on every UK business
http:// www.ukdata.com /
Veritas Global credit reports and country risk reports.
Whitehall Consultants International company credit reports, country risk reports, or debt collection services
http:// www.whitehallusa.com /
International Laws Web sites like the International Trade Law Monitor (ITL) provide region and country specific trade related laws, useful to exporters trying to access the legal impacts of entering new markets and to identify friendly markets.
Import and Export Statistics Databases like Datastar and Dialog provide details of exports and imports from major ports in the USA and Europe. New exporters facing the requirement of pricing their products often find it useful to know the price quoted by fellow exporters in the industry. A common problem in the use of this information by some exporters to undercut prices and gain unfair competitive advantage.
Trade Market Surveys Survey of market potential for products in markets is an essential requirement for exporters exploring possibilities in new markets and country. While sites like Datastar and Dialog offer preliminary reports on the market potential for products, sites like I-TRADE offer to undertake custom market research on behalf of interested exporters.
Other Useful Sources Most of the traditional sources of trade related information are now available on the web, which is fast emerging as a convenient means of distributing information. There are industry specific sites like Apparelnet (for apparel industry), which focus on the industry’s requirements. Other sites like Asian Sources On-line focus on the requirements of a region. The advantage of such sources is their in-depth coverage of a sector or region. While sponsored sites providing general information offer access free of charge, sites offering reliable information often charge access fees.
Sector-Based Portals for Market Research For different sector, there are very useful portal websites that offer comprehensive information, or function as a gateway to other sources on the Internet. They should be the starting point for the data mining efforts. These portal sites characteristically offer industry news, information about product development, business directories and, sometimes, a buyers and sellers platform. Usually, they also provide information about existing new or upcoming regulations. Some examples of interesting portals are:
www.autonewseurope.com (car parts) www.devicelink.com (medical devices) www.fis.com (seafood) www.fruitnet.com (fruits) www.flowerweb.com (flowers) www.organics.com (organic products) www.freshinfo.com (fresh food) www.foodnavigator.com (processed food) www.herbs.org (herbs and spices) www.leathernet.com (leather) www.organic-europe.net (organic products) Information about portal websites can often be obtained from traditional printed media, like the trade press, or from other online sources, like the CBI website’s link plaza or the International Trade Centre (ITC) tool P-maps ( www.p-maps.org ).
Generic Market Information Portals CBI and ITC provide generic market information portals, covering a large number of product groups and a wide range of themes. Particular reference is made to the statistical tool of ITC’s P-maps (Tradingmap) and CBI’s market information database and link plaza. Use of CBI’s databases is free of charge. Subscription to ITC’s p-maps differs. For details browse – www.cbi.nl ; www.p-maps.org
Search Engines To know information about a portal site, reference may be made to the trade magazines for Internet links and use one of the international search engines. Google ( www.google.com ) is currently the most popular search engine. Keep in mind that while using the search engine, it is best to use the advanced search option in order to filter the results and to keep them manageable. The methodology is “Input is output”. A general question will lead to general results. It is better to formulate the search as accurately as possible.
Country Information Many sources on the Internet provide macro-economic country data. Country Reports ( www.countryreports.org ), for instance, is a database with country information covering practically any country in the world and offering relevant and fairly up-to-date macro data. Other country information can be obtained from Eurostat, the datashop of the European Union ( www.europa.eu.int)/index_en.htm ) and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) (www.oecd.org).
Market Size, Trade Statistics Information about market size, segments and developments is included in the market reports downloadable from the CBI website. These kind of information are also available in articles and reports on portal sites or on websites of industry associations. The link plaza on the CBI’s website includes links to sector-based portal sites and industry associations. Trade statistics are also available (though not free of charge) through Eurostat. For agricultural products, Faostat, the statistical database of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations provides a very useful source for trade as well as production statistics. Search filters include product, market, volume and value as well as multipleyears selection. The Faostat database is free of charge ( http:// www.fao.org/waicent/portal/statistics.en.asp ).
Standards and Legislation Information about safety & health, social and environmental issues, as well as other legislation and product standards, is available through the CBI’s market information and Access guide database or from the European Commission’s database, Eur-lex ( www.europa.eu.int/eur-lex ). Some of the main sources of information for the food industry on food sAfety are www.codexalimentarius.net and htpp://foodnet.fie.ca (one can download the full HACCP manual).
Import Duties The European Commission has also published a database with all import duties on the Internet. To search by product and country of origin browse. www.europa.eu.int/comm/taxation_customs/index_en.htm
Market Players Information about market players, importers, wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers as well as competitors is available from market reports. Online business directories and trade fair catalogues are also helpful in this respect (often available online at the website of the tradefair organizer), Business directories can be found on sector-based portals. There are also generic business directories. The most important generic online directories are Europages ( www.europages.com ) and Kompass ( www.kompass.com ). Business directories offer multiple search filters, like product group, market, company type or company size.
Prices Some interesting sources for price information are— www.public-ledger/com - (Commodities). Check the site for the subscription fee. www.todaymarket.com – The today market website offers a free trial for 7 days. Subcriptin is US$ 25 per month. www.fintrac.com /gain/prices - This is the website of the Global Agribusiness Information Network. It provides information about wholesale fruits, vegetables, herbs and flower prices free of charge for various markets in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Japan. Depending on the market selection, the information can be one to seven days old. www.p-maps.org - The ITC’s p-maps contain Market News Services with wholesale import prices for selected commodities. Subscription prices vary.
Information on distribution channels can be obtained from market reports (like the CBI’s) and from the industry associations.
Information about trade fairs all over the world can be obtained free of charge from the following databases. www.tsnn.com and www.exhibitions-world.com .