The Centre for Trade Facilitation & Logistics (CTFL), under the aegis of the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), recently organised a round table meet at the IIFT, New Delhi campus. The meet was attended by heads and representatives from various key sectors along with academicians and logistics experts. The round table meet was chaired by Shri. N. Sivasailam, Special Secretary, Logistics Division, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Prof. Manoj Pant, Head CTFL & Director IIFT.
The CTFL is an institution that was set up at the IIFT Campus in 2018 by the Logistics Division, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. CTFL aims at helping India’s Trade and Logistics expertise by acting as a forum for collaborations on domestic and international fronts to gain competitiveness at a global level.
CTFL is working towards the development of a sector specific Logistics Performance Index (LPI-S). There is no such index at present, the purpose of this index is to serve as a common measure of logistics performance for various industries in India. This measure would help industries of different sectors to pinpoint critical issues in the logistics efficiency and related policy implications which would smoothen the process of movement of goods leading to an increase in the overall national and global trade. An efficient logistics performance can also help resolve the current big issue of trade deficit.
CTFL has been given a mandate to work along with nine different sectors and councils to understand and measure their logistics performance. These key sectors include Leather, Electronics, Marine, Apparel, Agriculture, Gems & Jewellery, Chemical, Engineering Goods and Pharmaceuticals. To achieve this objective, different workshops and sector meets have been planned throughout the year to understand the logistics issues faced by the sectors through working with the key stakeholders and industry experts.
The purpose of the New Delhi roundtable meeting was to have focussed and meaningful discussions on logistics issues and undertake brainstorming events. During the session, stakeholders of logistics services, academicians and other sector specific experts from the industries interacted with policymakers regarding the various logistics issues and gaps pertaining to their sectors.
The main idea was to understand sector specific logistics and development of sector specific logistics performance index. The objective was to then suggest a suitable approach for measurement of sector’s logistics performance. The meeting also deliberated CTFL’s approach on how the logistics performance can be measured for these select sectors. CTFL also proposed to have interactive meets with respective sector’s exporters in different locations to understand the sector logistics problems and jointly propose a solution/policy for the improvement in logistics competitiveness of the sector and compute the logistics index for the sector.
CTFL also regularly organises sector meets to map the value chain of the specific sector, which would aid in identifying the logistic challenges faced by the exporters in these sectors. Since each sector has a unique value chain, the challenges associated with them also vary from industry to industry. Some of these meets have already been conducted, while some have been scheduled for the future.
Industry clusters, which have a high concentration of similar and related firms, have been identified to gather relevant information for the development of LPI-S. Visits of the staff to these industry clusters have been helpful in identifying the underlying challenges faced by the exporters. This would provide the required inputs to frame a policy suggesting improvements and evaluate different sectors based on their logistics performance.
Through these efforts of organizing workshops and sector meets, CTFL presents a report in collaboration with the sector specific council outlining the framework for calculating LPI-S and remedies to the problems faced in these sectors, which helps in benchmarking best practices within the industry.
Speaking about CTFL’s initiatives, Prof. Manoj Pant, Director, IIFT said, “This LPI-S index will contribute to improvise the existing government regulations and policies related to the trade procedures which will further promote the exporters of the nine sectors. The approach adopted by CTFL brings together industry, academia, government and other organizations — national and international — to work towards diagnosing and recommending solutions to the key challenges in trade facilitations and logistics in the local and global environment.”
CTFL currently has plans to launch this index for the sectors of India and in future, it will work to extend this productive analysis to present sector-specific logistics performance index worldwide. The work of CFTL is supervised by Prof. Nitin Seth of the Institute.
The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT) was set up in 1963 by the Government of India as an autonomous organisation to help professionalise the country's foreign trade management and increase exports by developing human resources, analysing and disseminating data and conducting research. The Institute visualises its future role as a catalyst for new ideas, concepts and skills for the internationalisation of the Indian economy. The primary provider of training and research-based consultancy in the areas of international business, both for the corporate sector, Government and the student’s community. An institution with proven capability to continuously upgrade its knowledge base with a view to servicing the requirements of the Government, trade and industry through both sponsored and non-sponsored research and consultancy assignments. The Institute's portfolio of long-term programmes is diverse, catering to the requirements of aspiring International Business executives and mid-career professionals alike.