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Huge potential for India-UK collaboration in Food retail and e-commerce says India's Food Processing Minister

Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing, Government of India is on an official visit to the UK for inviting investment and exploring opportunities for collaboration between Indian and UK companies in food processing, food technology and retail industries.  During the 3-day visit, Mrs Kaur will be interacting with top food companies in the UK, apprising them of the huge business potential in India’s food processing sector. The minister was accompanied by Mr J P Meena, Special Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing industries, Government of India; Mr Hardeep Singh, PS to Minister of Food Processing, Government of India and Mr Piruz Khambatt, Co-Chairman, CII National Committee on Food Processing Industries & Chairman & Managing Director, Rasna Private Limited

High Commission of India in UK and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized an interaction today in London with the Hon’ble Minister on “Food Processing in India: Collaborative Opportunities” bringing together nearly 20 renowned UK based companies in the food sector. The participants  included large retailers, specialty foods, e-retailers and beverage manufacturers. Senior representatives from Sainsbury, Holland & Barret, Diageo, Ty-Phoo Tea, British Agri Food Consortium, Food and Drink Federation, Whittard of Chelsea, and Food and Drink Exporters Association participated in the roundtable among others.

In addition, the Hon’ble Minister also had one to one meetings with senior leadership of Sainsbury PLC, Tesco PLC and Marks & Spencer PLC and would be meeting senior leadership of Partridges, McCormick & Company, Waitrose, Holland and Barrett International, Morrisons and Harrods, over the next two days, to discuss current and future trade and investment prospects into India.

Reiterating the need for enhanced cooperation between India and UK in the sector, Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing, Government of India said, “With increasing disposable income and changing consumer preferences in India, retail and e-commerce are booming in the food segment and this is where the opportunity liesOver the past two years the Government of India has taken a number of policy decisions to spur vibrant growth in the food processing segment. With such a progressive policy outlook, we will offer full support towards new collaborations and greater investment.”   

Most recently, the Government of India has allowed 100% FDI through FIPB route in marketing of food products produced and manufactured in India. This path-breaking initiative has opened up vast opportunities for international companies to invest in India in the food processing supply and marketing chain. Additionally, attractive incentives have been established by central and state governments to include capital subsidies, tax rebates, and reduced custom and excise duties. Increasing focus is also being given to supply-chain related infrastructure, such as cold storage, abattoirs and food parks.

Speaking at the interactive session H. E. Mr. Navtej Sarna, Indian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom said “UK is the 3rd largest investor in India, highest in G-20 countries. Of the total UK FDI in India around 3 billion dollars is in the food processing sector. India is doing well amongst world economies and is an attractive destination for FDI. What is required is closer interaction between Indian and UK food & beverage sector to strengthen the relationship & business.”

Applauding the progressive changes to enhance growth in India’s food processing industry, Mr Piruz Khambatta, Co-chairman of the CII National Committee on Food processing Industry and Chairman & Managing Director, Rasna Pvt Ltd said, “The Government’s decision to permit 100% FDI under government approval route for trading, including through e-commerce, in respect of food products manufactured or produced in India will provide a major impetus to investments, employment and job creation in the Food processing industry. This policy announcement is aligned with the Government’s ‘Make in India’ initiative facilitating ‘Ease of doing business’ and through CII, we hope to support the Government in taking these positive messages to key global markets such as the UK, and invite international business collaboration.

The UK food companies expressed interest in doing business in Indian during the interaction with the Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing, Government of India. Mrs Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing, Government of India invited the participating companies to come to India in January 2017 and meet the Indian food & retail industry during the ‘Food Summit’ being organized by the Ministry of Food Processing, Government of India on the sidelines of ‘Vibrant Gujarat Summit’ in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat. 

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Sep 6, 2016
 
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