Walmart is trying to get toys, shoes and bicycles from India to boost exports

NEW DELHI: Walmart Inc. looking for source toys, shoes and bicycles from India, as part of its aim to increase exports from India to USD 10 billion annually by 2027.

The US-based retailer also wants to develop new suppliers in categories such as food, pharmaceuticals, consumables, health and wellness, and apparel and home textiles, a company spokesperson said.

Officials from the Bentonville-headquartered company recently held a virtual meeting with several domestic toy manufacturers here.

The company informed toy manufacturers about their requirements and expected quality standards as it liaises directly with the domestic toy manufacturers for procurement.

The move is significant and highlights India’s growing strength in the toy industry, especially as India was a net importer of toys until a few years ago. Global retailers like IKEA already source toys from India for their international operations.

“Walmart’s growth in sourcing from India includes expanding partnerships with existing suppliers and helping develop new suppliers in categories such as food, pharmaceuticals, consumables, health and wellness, along with apparel and home textiles,” said the Walmart spokesperson. “We are also exploring opportunities in toys, shoes and bicycles.”

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

“The expansion in sourcing includes helping to develop hundreds of new suppliers in categories such as food, pharmaceuticals, consumables, health and wellness and general merchandise, along with apparel, housewares and other key Indian export categories.” it had said.

Earlier this month, Walmart Inc. President and CEO Doug McMillon reaffirmed its commitment during its visit to India, saying that India’s unique ecosystem of suppliers will help the company achieve its goal of exporting $10 billion worth of goods from the country annually by 2027.

Addressing Indian suppliers, Doug McMillon affirmed the roadmap for strengthening partnerships with Indian communities, expanding opportunities for Indian businesses and advancing transformative and innovative retail solutions from India to the world.

McMillon had also met Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and tweeted: “Thank you Prime Minister @narendramodi for a great conversation. We are working to export USD 10 billion annually from India by 2027 and are committed to strengthening logistics, skills development and supply chains to make India a global export leader in toys, seafood and other commodities .”

“The visit to Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi reinforces the shared value we bring by partnering with India. Together, we will continue to support the nation’s manufacturing growth and continue to create opportunities,” McMillon said in a tweet from Walmart Inc.

The Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT)which is taking a series of steps to promote domestic toy production, also helps Indian manufacturers to connect with global players to meet their compliance requirements and increase exports from India.

When asked about the matter, Manu Gupta, promoter of Playgro Toys India and president of Toy Association of India, said that a US-based retailer has approached the industry to purchase toys in three main categories, including play-on toys. riding and outdoors, and mechanical and toys. electric toys, valued at $400 million.

He said DPIIT officials are helping the industry deal with and get orders from these global players.

The country’s toy exports were worth Rs 1,017 crore in April-December 2022-23. In 2021-22, exports amounted to Rs 2,601 crore. In April-December 2013-14, shipments amounted to Rs 167 crore. Total toy imports fell by 70% to Rs 870 crore in 2021-22.

In February 2020, the import duty on toys was increased from 20% to 60% and now it has been increased to 70% this year, with the aim of discouraging imports.

The government is also considering introducing a fiscal incentive scheme – PLI (production-related incentive) – for toys.

In 2020, the government issued a toy (quality control) decree. According to the order, toys must meet the requirements of relevant Indian standards and carry the standard mark under a license. It applies to both domestic and foreign manufacturers who intend to export their toys to India.

The QCO is issued to ensure that consumers, who are only children under the age of 14, are not exposed to substandard goods/goods containing toxic material/toys containing toxic material.

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