October – November 2023


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 https://www.invest.kerala.gov.in/– 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 — http://kriis.kerala.gov.in/ — 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

Recent Events

CEO Forum Breakfast Meeting : “Accessing the EU and Other Markets Through the Port of Antwerp

The eight edition of CEO Forum (networking breakfast) Meeting for the month of October held on Thursday, 19th of October 2023 at Hotel Crowne Plaza (Maradu), Cochin. The Guest Speakers were Mr. Daljit Singh Kohli, India Representative for Port of Antwerp & Bruges and Mr. Stefan Kessen ,Customs Officer, Belgian Customs, both lectured on the topic “Accessing the EU and Other Markets Through the Port of Antwerp”.  Mr. Jayant Nadiger, Trade & Investment Commissioner of Flanders, Belgium (for South India) also spoke during the session

EXIM Summit 2023 – Bridging Borders: Unlocking EXIM Potential  : 27 October 2023 : Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin.   

Cochin Chamber and Malayala Manorama jointly organised the EXIM Summit 2023 “Building Borders : Unlocking EXIM Potential” on 27th October 2023 at Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin.

Shri. Hibi Eden, M P (Lok Sabha) & Shri. Gurkaran Singh Bains, IRS, Commissioner of Customs House Cochin were the Chief Guest for the programme.

As part of the EXIM Summit there were discussion on Issues and Challenges of Exporters & Importers; wherein Sri. K. Harikumar, Past President of the Chamber moderated the discussion; the panelists speakers who were present includes:- Sri. Alex Ninan, Managing Partner of Baby Marine International; Sri. P. Prakash, Vice President (Materials) of Malayala Manorama; Sri. Anil Kumar Radhakrishnan, Group CFO of Plant Lipids; Sri. Joy Thattil Itoop, Managing Partner of Callidus Legal.

The other discussions was on ‘Opportunities in EXIM Trade’ & ‘Reduction in transaction cost’, wherein the President of the Chamber Sri. Venkitraman Anand & the Committee Member Sri. Prakash Iyer moderated the sessions respectively. The Panelists Speakers for both the sessions were Sri. Riyaz Khan, General Manager of Nitta Gelatin India Ltd; Sri. Sunil Kumar Ayappan, Deputy GM & Head (Projects) of Adani Ports Ltd; Sri. Vipin R Menoth, Traffic Manager of Cochin Ports; Shri. Binu K S, President, Kerala Steamer Agents Association; Sri. Sajan B Nair, Secretary General of Federation of Indian Coir Exporters Association; Sri. Tommy Thomas, Ex- Secretary of Cochin Container Carrier Owners Welfare Association; Sri. Kiran B Nandre, Director Short Sea Shipping & NVOCC of Rhenus Logistics and Dr. R. Rajesh Kumar, Founder & Director of Glo Shipping & Logistics Pvt Ltd.

Visit of Consul General of South Korea : 20th November 2023

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

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.

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 (8921695456).