His predecessor Nirmala Sitharaman has been elevated as the Defence Minister.
Prabhu is taking charge of the commerce department at a time when export growth is waning. Export growth fell to an eight-month low of 3.94 per cent in July, while trade deficit widened to USD 11.44 billion on account of high gold imports.
The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under the ministry deals with foreign direct investment (FDI) related matters.
The FDI in the first quarter of 2017-18 soared 37 per cent to USD 10.4 billion.