What are Towns of Export Excellence in export?

Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) are government recognized hubs for high-value industry export. Learn more about their criteria, benefits, and the list of recognized towns.
What are Towns of Export Excellence in export?
The Government of India, through the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), has introduced multiple programs aimed at bolstering the export sector. One such initiative is the Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) program, outlined in the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 (extended up to 31st March 2022). TEE status is conferred upon towns that meet specific production and export targets in particular sectors.1 In this blog post, we will discuss what the Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) program is, along with its benefits and eligibility criteria.

What are Towns of Export Excellence (TEE)?

Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) is a special recognition given to specific towns across India that have become vibrant industrial hubs, making substantial contributions to the country's exports. By acknowledging these clusters and providing them specific benefits and incentives, the Government of India aims to unlock their full potential, enabling them to move higher in the value chain and explore new markets.
TEE status is granted to towns that export goods valued at a minimum threshold within a particular sector. Sectors include handicrafts, handloom, seafood, pharmaceuticals, fisheries, apparels, coir, and leather products.
The government compiles the list of towns in consultation with industry associations and other stakeholders. Handlooms, textiles, and apparel are prominent products exported by TEE status-holding towns. For instance, Tirupur in Tamil Nadu is renowned for its hosiery, while Visakhapatnam and Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh specialize in seafood exports. Uttar Pradesh has towns famous for leather products, while Kerala's Kochi and Alappuzha are renowned for coir and cashew exports.2

Criteria to become Towns of Export Excellence in India (TEE)

According to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, towns producing goods worth INR 750 crore or more can be recognised as Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) based on their potential for export growth. However, specific sectors like handloom, handicraft, agriculture, and fisheries have a lower threshold of INR 150 Crore.3

Benefits of becoming Towns of Export Excellence in India

According to the Foreign Trade Policy, Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) receive promotional benefits from the Government of India in the form of incentives or duty exemptions. Some of these benefits are as follows:

1. Financial assistance through the Market Access Initiative (MAI) scheme

Recognized associations focusing on specific countries or target markets will receive financial support. This aid covers activities such as market surveys, establishing warehouses/showrooms, brand promotion campaigns, participation in international trade fairs, and reimbursement of registration fees.

2. Authorization under the Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) scheme

Exporters can import capital goods required for pre-production, production, and post-production at zero customs duty. To qualify for this scheme, the manufactured goods must be exported.4
Additionally, cities and towns that are awarded the Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) status also receive global recognition and credibility. This can attract foreign investments, and contribute to the development of new infrastructure, higher employment rates, and greater export growth in these areas.

List of recognized Towns of Export Excellence (TEE)

39 towns were recognized as Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) as per the Foreign Trade Policy 2015-2020 (extended up to 31st March 2022). Four more towns — namely Faridabad, Moradabad, Mirzapur, and Varanasi — were added to this list by the Foreign Trade Policy 2023, bringing the total number of recognized TEEs to 43.5

The list of the 43 recognized Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) along with their year of recognition is as follows:

1. Tirupur, Tamil Nadu (2003)
2. Ludhiana, Punjab (2003)
3. Kanoor, Kerala (2004)
4. Panipat, Haryana (2003)
5. AEKK (Aroor, Ezhupunna, Kodanthuruthu & Kuthiathodu), Kerala (2004)
6. Karur, Tamil Nadu (2004)
7. Madurai, Tamil Nadu (2004)
8. Kekhra, Uttar Pradesh (2004)
9. Dewas, Madhya Pradesh (2006)
10. Kollam (Quilon), Kerala (2006)
11. Alleppey, Kerala (2006)
12. Indore, Madhya Pradesh (2008)
13. Bhilwara, Rajasthan (2009)
14. Malihabad, Uttar Pradesh (2009)
15. Surat, Gujarat (2009)
16. Ambur, Tamil Nadu (2009)
17. Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh (2009)
18. Jaipur, Rajasthan (2009)
19. Srinagar, Jammu and Kashmir (2009)
20. Barmer, Rajasthan (2010)
21. Anantnag, Jammu and Kashmir (2009)
22. Bhiwandi, Maharashtra (2010)
23. Agra, Uttar Pradesh (2010)
24. Firozabad, Uttar Pradesh (2011)
25. Bhubaneshwar, Orissa (2011)
26. Ahmedabad, Gujarat (2012)
27. Agartala, Tripura (2011)
28. Kolhapur, Maharashtra (2012)
29. Morbi, Gujarat (2013)
30. Saharanpur - 2012
31. Gurgaon, Haryana (2013)
32. Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh (2014)
33. Panipat, Haryana (2018)
34. Thoothukudi(Tuticorin), Tamil Nadu (2014)
35. Bhimavaram, Andhra Pradesh (2015)
36. Jodhpur, Rajasthan (2018)
37. Pollachi, Tamil Nadu (2020)
38. Bhadohi, Uttar Pradesh (2018)
39. Noida, Uttar Pradesh (2021)
40. Faridabad, Haryana (2023)
41. Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh (2023)
42. Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh (2023)
43. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh (2023)6


In conclusion, the Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) initiative showcases the vital role played by specific towns in India's export landscape. By providing recognition and support to these export hubs, the government aims to bolster their potential for growth and expansion in global markets. Furthermore, as e-commerce exports continues to gain popularity in India, exporters from these towns should leverage this opportunity to sell on global marketplaces from the comfort of their homes, amplify their reach, and build global brands. For more support on e-commerce exports, exporters can leverage the tools and services offered by e-commerce export programs like Amazon Global Selling.

Amazon Global Selling: Easy e-commerce exports and hassle-free shipping

Starting an export journey can be intimidating for Indian businesses and MSMEs, and that is where Amazon Global Selling can help. If you are a business owner and you want to sell your products to the world, Amazon Global Selling enables you to list and sell ‘Made in India’ products on 18 Amazon global marketplaces. As an e-commerce exports program, Amazon Global Selling provides support and guidance at every step of your exports journey – documents and licenses, shipping, payments, advertising, and more.

Registered sellers can choose to ship their products by themselves through Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) or they can opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and outsource order fulfillment to Amazon including packing, storage, delivery, and returns. Amazon Global Selling simplifies the process of international shipping to the world, helping businesses navigate customs and reach a vast audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

· What are the four new Towns of Export Excellence?
The Foreign Trade Policy 2023 has recognized four new Towns of Export Excellence. These are Faridabad for apparel, Moradabad for handicrafts, Mirzapur for handmade carpets and dari, and Varanasi for handloom and handicrafts.7
· Which city has the highest export in India?
In 2023, Jamnagar in Gujarat was the top exporting city in India.8
· What is the Foreign Trade Policy for Towns of Export Excellence?
Towns of Export Excellence (TEE) is a special recognition given to specific towns across India that make substantial contributions to the country's exports. TEE status is conferred upon towns that meet specific production and export targets in particular sectors. As of 2023, there are a total of 43 Towns of Export Excellence in India.
Published on May 21, 2024.


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