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Surging Trichy seeks regional office to boost foreign trade

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Trichy: Even as Trichy has received global acclaim after being named as the eighth fastest-growing city in the world in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth by a private economic watchdog, dedicated efforts to promote exports are lagging despite its potential to export a wide range of products. According to entrepreneurs, a regional office of the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) is a much-needed facility to tap it, but their long-time demand to set up one at Trichy to facilitate exports has gone unheard and unnoticed.

In a recent economic survey conducted by UK-based Oxford Economics, Trichy’s GDP is estimated to touch $19 trillion in 2035 from $4.9 trillion in 2018. Also with a significant section of diaspora residing in Malaysia, Singapore, and the Gulf countries having their roots in central and delta districts, trade bodies opined that exporting perishable commodities to such countries would bring fortune for the entrepreneurs here. With 25 metric tonnes of commodities being exported from Trichy every day, traders stated that the quantity can be doubled by promoting the benefits of exports among small-time traders. However, to understand and complete the registration process to become a registered exporter to avail the welfare schemes of the Union Ministry of Commerce, no facility is available in the city.

Traders who depend on the online platform, the only tool to learn the process, have been demanding a regional office of DGFT at Trichy to facilitate exports. "Not all of us are well versed in online portals to know about the registration process. If a regional office of DGFT is established in Trichy, many small time traders can think of exporting their goods, which will ultimately boost employment opportunities," D Chandramohan, an aspiring exporter in food industry said.

While DGFT has regional offices in Coimbatore and Madurai, Trichy is yet to get that facility despite being the second leading city in the state after Chennai in terms of international freight. "With expertise in fabrication, MSMEs here will certainly consider exporting goods if they were guided. To channelise exports, we certainly need a full-time office for DGFT here," S Abdul Rahman, a steel fabrication exporter from Trichy said.

When contacted, an official with zonal DGFT office, Chennai said, "Tamil Nadu already has the maximum number of DGFT offices. Trichy certainly has a vast potential for exports."


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