December 8, 2021

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ICICI Bank launches new platform for exporters, importers to offer digital banking, VAS services

India’s total exports including merchandise and services was estimated to be $56.51 billion in October 2021 with a 35.16 per cent growth from the year-ago period. (Image: Pexels)

Trade, imports and exports for MSMEs: Private lender ICICI Bank is looking to further tap into the vast base of India’s exporters and importers with a dedicated online platform offering digital banking and value-added services (VAS) related to cross-border trade. On Tuesday, ICICI Bank announced the launch of Trade Emerge portal to provide banking services such as current/saving account, trade services such as letter of credit, bank guarantee, and trade credit, corporate internet banking, foreign exchange solutions, etc.

Among value-added services, incorporation of trade business, access to global trade database of nearly 15 million buyers and sellers in 181 countries, verification reports of potential customers through credit bureaus, shipment booking and last mile tracking, and insurance services like marine insurance would be available for exporters and importers. “These services are offered through partners having expertise in their respective fields,” the bank said in a statement.

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“We did the beta launch of the platform some time back and had reached out to our clients. The response from our clients on what they liked the most about it was free access to overseas partners’ discovery and transaction big-data insight, availability of companywide verification reports, access to key news and updates in the knowledge hub section, and more. The benefit of this portal is available to all importers and exporters even if they are not the customers of ICICI Bank as we want to make this an open architecture platform for everyone,” Vishakha Mulye, Executive Director, ICICI Bank said in a conference call with reporters.

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Exporters and importers involved in agri-based products like food grains, glass fibre products, raw materials, metal, steel, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals, finished goods like industrial equipment, etc., would be able to access these solutions.

While services such as setting up of export-import businesses are provided by the bank in association with India Filings, the information services on different updates and guidelines by regulatory bodies are offered by the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO). Likewise, database access is provided by the export-import data and analytics platform The Dollar Business. CRIF, Dun & Bradstreet, Shipsy, and more are other service providers to exporters and importers leveraging this platform.

India’s total exports including merchandise and services was estimated to be $56.51 billion in October 2021 with a 35.16 per cent growth from the year-ago period and 29.13 per cent growth from October 2019. On the other hand, imports in October 2021 were estimated to be worth $68.09 billion, up 57.32 per cent from October 2020 and 40.82 per cent from over October 2019, as per a Commerce Ministry’s statement on India’s foreign trade released last week.

According to the MSME Ministry, over 6.3 crore MSMEs in India contribute close to 40 per cent of overall India’s exports. MSME Minister Narayan Rane in September this year had launched India SME Forum’s portal IndiaXports to provide information related to exports for all the 456 tariff lines along with trends in exports, export procedures, etc. to MSMEs. The minister had said that MSMEs would help achieve India’s exports target of $400 billion for the current financial year and a further $1 trillion by 2027.

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