December 2023 & January 2024


Dear Members,

India has embarked on an economic and digital revolution and is gearing up to emerge as the third-largest global economy. But the transformative power of technology is yet to fully benefit micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which serve as the backbone of India’s economic fabric, contributing to around 30 per cent of India’s GDP.

The ministry of steel has begun consultations with domestic producers to explore strategies for reining in imports as these have exceeded exports from India, the world’s second-largest producer of the alloy. India imported 4.3 million tonnes of steel between April and November this year, as against exports of 4 million tonnes, becoming a net importer of the alloy. Experts attribute the shift in the trade balance to low international prices of steel and higher domestic prices, which not only made imports viable but also inhibited exports. Indian steel industry executives allege that Chinese producers are dumping steel in international markets given low demand in the Middle Kingdom. This has not only subdued international steel prices, but also made Indian steel uncompetitive in many key markets.

India is moving to limit the diversion of sugar for ethanol production, aiming to secure adequate domestic supplies of sweeter. This shift is intended to boost sugar production in the country, which ranks as the world’s second largest producer. The expected decrease in sugar output attributed to subpar rainfall in key cultivation areas is a driving factor behind this policy change.

Japanese firms, especially in manufacturing, are seeing India not only as a lucrative consumer market but also as an ideal  manufacturing base. Despite global economic challenges, Japan remains bullish on India, viewing it as a key player in Asia’s economic space. They are considering India as a strategically important market in Asia and will continue to invest in expanding its franchise in the country.

Vehicle registrations a proxy for retail sales rose 18 percentage to the highest ever level month amid robust demand in the festive season . As many as 2.85 million vehicles  were registred in November 2023 surpassing the previous peak of 2.40 million in 2022. Vehicle sales had at the time risen ahead of expected price hike on account of transition to BS -VI emission norms.

The country has taken commendable steps with initiatives like Digital India, the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), and the AI-powered language translation platform Bhashini’ to promote digital and financial inclusion. Programmes to boost the potential of MSMEs, such as the Udyam portal, the MSME Champions portal, the Government e-Marketplace (GeM), and others, will further help in this sector’s growth. Leveraging appropriate digital technologies, including advanced tools such as AI, to boost MSMEs ’ growth, competitiveness and resilience is no longer a choice but a necessity.

Coming to our home state Kerala, in a major initiative to streamline investment processes and promote responsible industrial practices, Kerala launched two digital facilities for investors, Invest Kerala web portal and Kerala Responsible Industry Incentive Scheme portal. The Invest Kerala portal– is designed as a one-stop solution for entrepreneurs on all matters related to investment for obtaining assistance, getting reply to queries and accessing essential documents needed for setting up and expanding enterprises. Kerala Responsible Industry Incentive Scheme portal — — will provide information on subsidies and incentives announced to promote sustainable and responsible industrial practices announced in the Kerala Industrial Policy 2023. The portal facilitates industries to access these incentives by meeting specified criteria to contribute to the state’s commitment to promote environmentally responsible and socially beneficial industrial growth.

The core objective of the Navakerala Sadas is to foster increased interaction with citizens, enabling a comprehensive understanding of the government’s progress in building Navakerala and facilitating a profound comprehension of societal sentiments. Scheduled from November 18 to December 23. Putting forward the idea of a people’s ministry with the people, Nava Kerala Sadas  has successfully covered all the assembly constituencies, disseminating information about the state’s achievements and welfare activities while exploring its potential for underdeveloped regions. The government envisions a new Kerala where everyone actively participates in development, ensuring that the benefits reach all citizens.

Moving to the Chamber activities, The Cochin Chamber jointly with Malayala Manorama organised the EXIM Summit 2023 “Building Borders : Unlocking EXIM Potential” on 27th October 2023 in the CSM Hall of Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin. Shri. Hibi Eden, MP (Lok Sabha) & Shri. Gurkaran Singh Bains, IRS, Commissioner of Customs, Customs House Cochin were the Chief Guest’s. The discussion were on (1) Issues and Challenges of Exporters & Importers (2) Opportunities in EXIM Trade and (3) Reduction in transaction cost. There were close to 200 delegates attended the programme.

As part of Chamber’s CEO Forum Meeting, the 08th edition of the CEO Forum meeting for the month of October 2023 held on 19th of October at Hotel Crown Plaza, Cochin The guest speaker were from the Port of Antwerp & Bruges; Mr. Daljit Singh Kohli, Indian Representative for Port of Antwerp & Bruges & Mr. Stefan Kessen, Customs Officer, Belgian Customs, both the speakers lectured on the topic “Accessing the EU & other Markets through the Port of Antwerp”. Mr. Jayant Nadiger, Trade & Investment Commissioner of Flanders, Belgium (for South India) also spoke during the session. Shri. Venkitraman Anand, President of the Chamber delivered the Welcome address; whereas Shri. S. P. Kamath Vice President of the Chamber delivered the vote of thanks. There were close to 30 participants from various organisation attend the session.

CEO Forum meeting for the month of November 2023 held on 17th November 2023 in the Raja Ravi Varma Hall of Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin. Shri. Jiji Thomson (IAS Rtd) Former Chief Secretary of Kerala joined as Guest Speaker on 17th  of November 2023.Shri. Jiji Thomson lectured on the topic “A Need for enhancing the Life Skills of 21st Century”.  There were close to 30 participants attended the session.

Thank you and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Anand Venkitraman

Recent Union Cabinet Decisions



Forthcoming Events

CEO Forum Breakfast Meeting : 16th February 2024: Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin

The next CEO Forum Meeting on Friday, 16th February 2024 (08:00 am) Mr. Nahaz Basheer, founder of Cremberie Foods will be the Guest Speaker and he will speak about his Growth Story.

Visit to Auric City (Maharashtra): 21st February 2024

The Chamber is visiting the Shendra Bidkin Industrial Area (Auric City), Aurangabad (Maharashtra) from 21st February to 23rd February 2024.Auric City is one of India’s well planned, Green field & Smart Industrial cities being developed over an area of 10,000 acres in Maharashtra as part of the Delhi – Mumbai Industrial Corridor.

The visit is planned for 2 days to Shendra Bidkin Industrial Area (SBIA), Auric City & to Ellora. The purpose is to see the modern amenities built with world class infrastructure of Auric City & understand the possibilities business opportunities.

Recent Events

CEO Forum Breakfast Meeting : 17th November 2023: Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin

The eight edition of CEO Forum (networking breakfast) Meeting for the month of November held on Friday, 17th of November 2023 at Hotel Le Meridien (Maradu), Cochin.    

The Guest Speaker was Shri. Jiji Thomson IAS (Retd), Former Chief Secretary of Kerala, who delivered a lectured on the topic “A Need for enhancing the Life Skills of 21st Century”.

Visit of Consul General of South Korea

The Consul General of Republic of South Korea Mr. Chang Nyun KIM along with Mr. Eun Jihwan, Director General of Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) and few officials from the South Korean Consulate have visited the Chamber on Monday, 20th November 2023.

During the interaction, many members raised concerns over identifying the genuine buyers in South Korea, in response to the concerns raised by the members Consul General said that Korea does almost 500 expositions every year, and to identify the genuine buyers this expositions will certainly be useful. Consul General also added that Chamber can also plan for a delegation to Korea.

For the interaction with the Consul General of Republic of South Korea, Chamber President Shri. Venkitraman Anand, Chamber Vice President Shri. S P Kamath, Executive Committee Members Shri. C. S. Kartha and Shri. Prakash Iyer were present.

DR A P J Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture : 08th December 2023: Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin

The 08th edition of Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam Memorial Lecture, held on 08th of  December 2023 at Hotel Le Meridien (Maradu), Cochin. The Chief Guest was Shri. M Y S Prasad, former Director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, who lectured about his experience working with Dr. Kalam.

Shri. Venkitraman Anand, President of the Chamber did the Welcome Remarks; whereas the Chamber Vice President Shri. S. P. Kamath delivered the Vote of thanks.

CEO Forum Breakfast Meeting : 22nd December 2023: Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin

The eight edition of CEO Forum (networking breakfast) Meeting for the month of December held on Friday, 22nd of December 2023 at Hotel Le Meridien (Maradu), Cochin.

The Guest Speaker was Shri. M S A Kumar, former MD of AVT McCormick Ltd & Family Business Advisor and CEO Coach of Catalyst 360.

We had a Chat session with Mr. Kumar on the topic “Beyond Three Generation” a book co-authored Mr. Kumar, Mr. Navas Meeran, Mr. Firoz Meeran and Mr. George Zackaria. The session moderated by the Chamber President Shri. Venkitraman Anand discussed about various topics related to family businesses, on succession planning, case studies and answered several queries from the participants.

CEO Forum Breakfast Meeting : 19th January 2024: Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin

The eight edition of CEO Forum (networking breakfast) Meeting for the month of January held on Friday, 19th of January 2024 at Hotel Le Meridien (Maradu), Cochin.     

The Guest Speaker was Shri. Thomas John, Managing Director  of  Agappe Diagnostics Ltd, who  lectured on the topic “Success Story of AGAPPE”. During the lecture Shri. Thomas spoke about his personal life as an individual and the challenges he faced during his entrepreneurial journey.

Exclusive EXIM Statistics

Statistical Reports on Exports and Imports through the Cochin Port.

The Cochin Chamber of Commerce and Industry publishes statistical reports on Exports and Imports through the Cochin Port on a monthly basis followed by a Consolidated Annual Report at the end of each calendar year. The reports on exports are classified as commodity wise and pertain to the following commodities:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Spices
  • Cashews
  • Cotton Goods
  • Seafood and
  • Coir and coir products

Details on all other commodities that do not fall under the above-mentioned heads are carried as the ‘Miscellaneous Report’. Customized reports will also be available according to customers requirement.

We have several members in the export/import fraternity subscribing to these reports on a monthly basis and from the feedback received they are immensely benefited by the same.

We are confident that our reports will be of help to your Company in staying one step ahead of your competitors in business. A sample of the report is attached herewith for your reference. Also attached is the ‘Subscription Form’ to enable you to subscribe to the report should you want to do so.

Should you have any queries please feel free to contact Mr. T.M. Padbhanabhan (0484 2668349).