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Toys to be significant portion in Walmart’s $10 billion exports target from India

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The company has earlier informed toy makers about their requirements and expected quality standards

New Delhi: US-based retail giant Walmart is targeting to increase its exports from India to $10 billion annually and domestic toys will account for a significant portion of the total exports, a senior government official said on Thursday.

Joint Secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Sanjiv said that the American company has recently held a workshop with 100 Indian toy makers so that they can set up the supply chain for toy exports from India.

“Walmart has given a target of $10 billion exports from India and in that they are going to have toy exports as a significant portion,” he told reporters here.

The company has earlier informed toy makers about their requirements and expected quality standards.

In December 2020, Walmart committed to triple its exports of goods from India to $10 billion each year by 2027, providing a significant boost to micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) here.

Global retailers such as IKEA are already sourcing toys from India for their international operations.

The move is significant and highlights India’s growing strength in the toy industry, especially since the country was a net importer of toys until a few years ago.

Sanjiv said that at present India is exporting toys to all countries, including the EU, and the US.

He added that inter-ministerial consultation and participation have helped in making toys, a successful story in India.

He informed that 14 departments, including education, tourism, and information technology, have been assigned 21 tasks to promote the growth of the sector.

“Each one of them has been assigned a work in respect of their ministry,” he said.

There are four themes of the National Action Plan for Toys (NAPT), including promoting trade and investments; design and quality; and promoting indigenous toys.

As many as 32 toy clusters have also been identified where artisans have been provided government support.

Compared to 2014-15, toy imports have dipped by 52% and exports rose by 239% in 2022-23.

A study was also conducted by the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow on the ‘Success Story of Made in India Toys’ at the behest of the DPIIT.

According to the report, the efforts of the government have enabled in creation of a more conducive manufacturing ecosystem for the industry.

It highlighted that from 2014 to 2020, these efforts have led to the doubling of the number of manufacturing units and a reduction in dependence on imported inputs from 33% to 12%.

India is also emerging as a top exporting nation due to the country’s integration into the global toy value chain, along with zero-duty market access for domestically manufactured toys in countries, including UAE and Australia.

To position India as a viable alternative to current toy hubs of the world (China and Vietnam), consistent collaborative efforts of the toy industry and the government are essential for advancements in technology, embracing e-commerce, encouraging partnerships and exports, and investing in brand-building, the report stated.

The government has formulated a comprehensive NAPT having 21 specific action points, and implemented by 14 central ministries/departments, with DPIIT as the coordinating body.

Basic Customs Duty (BCD) on toys was increased from 20% to 60% in February 2020, and subsequently to 70% in March 2023. The Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) has mandated sample testing of each import consignment to curb the import of sub-standard toys.

A Quality Control Order (QCO) for toys was issued in 2020, with effect from January 2021.

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