India seeks Canadian investment in food processing sector

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food processing Investment

India has called on Canadian companies to invest in the country’s rapidly growing food processing industries.

During a week-long visit to the country, the Indian minister for food processing industries, Subodh Sahai said the Indian food Processing Industry was a “highly untapped area” ​that offered great opportunities to foreign investors.

"Canada can become the catalysing agent that can help India feed the world and enhanced global food security,"​ Sahai told Canadian business executives.

According to the minister, talks with Canadian agricultural minister, Gerry Ritz had produced “fruitful” results for potential co operation between the countries.

Benefits for investors

According to the national government, direct foreign investment in the Indian food processing industry plays an important role in developing the sector, helping it to increase by 175 per cent during 2009-10 to reach $279.33m.

The government also claims the output of the nation’s food processing sector is increasing at a rate of more than 13 per cent per year.

Sahai estimated Canadian investment in India at $1 bn compared to Indian investment in Canada which is close to $9 bn. Sahai said he wanted the Canadian figures to grow to several billion dollars over the next few years.

Sahai talked of the incentives for Canadian companies, such as a 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in food processing industries and tax concessions. “There is a big opportunity for them as the food processing sector is set to grow very rapidly,” ​commented Sahai.

In addition to the call for investments, the minister is also interested in joint research partnerships in the sector.

A growing area

The development forms part of India’s plans to expand the country’s food processing industry.​Last Year,​minister Shri Sahai declared that he wanted to more than treble India’s food processing industry over the next five years and double its share of global trade to three per cent.

In 2009, the Indian Government unveiled plans to help set up 350 food processing units over the as part of the country’s ‘Evergreen Revolution’, in which the government aimed to put promotion of the food processing industry at the heart of its plans to revitalise India’s agricultural sector and drive the economy.

The Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI) said it was planning to invest 1 tn rupees (€14bn) in the sector by 2015 in a bid to create as many as 10 million new jobs.

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