Source: The Hindu Business Line, Mar 02, 2017
New Delhi: On a ‘food diplomacy’ visit to Tokyo, Food Processing Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said Indian marine products, fruits & vegetables, as well as non-GM foods, were key “strength” areas in which Japanese companies could explore investment possibilities.
“One of our strengths is that we offer non-genetically modified (GM) food in India. And the Japanese companies are on the same page with India, as they are very particular about food safety,” Badal toldBusinessLine.
The Minister is in Tokyo for “food diplomacy” and promoting India as one of the “most favourable” destinations in the food processing sector. She is seeking Japanese participation in ‘World Food India’, which will be held in New Delhi in November. The Minister, who has already visited the UK, Italy and France for the purpose, said she would shortly visit Canada and the US.
“Japan is a saturated market. Its food processing sector does 60 per cent of its business outside Japan. But only 11 per cent of this is with India. There are only 12 Japanese companies operating in India,” she said, adding that India’s infrastructure offers foreign companies the opportunity to “plug and play” in the market.
In her meetings, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Badal met representatives of the Japan Food Industry Association, CGC Group, a nationwide co-operative chain consisting of middle to small size supermarkets, Marubeni, Ise Foods, Ajinomoto Inc., restaurant chain Royal Hosts, Mitsui Foods, and seafood firm Kohyo Co, Tokai Denpun, among others. Among the Indian private firms that sent representatives were Chandigarh-based Pagro Foods, which is into frozen vegetables and already has tie-ups in Japan.
India is looking to be a sourcing destination for seafood, cashew, sesame and Darjeeling tea. It is also keen on exploring the feasibility of mergers and acquisitions of Indian companies in the food and agriculture value chain, and importing Japanese technology. Badal also met the Japanese Agriculture Minister.