India-Italy Business Forum on Food Processing held in Mumbai

India-Italy Business Forum on Food Processing held in Mumbai, India last week. The Italian Trade Agency along with Confederation of Italian Industry from the regions of Veneto, Emilia Romagna and Lombardia and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), organised the forum themed– Italian Solutions for easiest process with the visiting Italian delegation presenting technological solutions for Indian food processing companies.

Food processing is one of the fastest growing industries in India which is expected to reach US$544 billion by 2020-21, whereas the food industry output is expected to reach US$535 billion in 2025-26. The increase in the market size and consumption of food is expected to reach US$1.2 trillion by 2025-26.

Speaking at the event, Chindi Vasudevappa, VC, National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Ministry of Food Processing Industries, offered an overview of the food processing sector in India.

“The government has taken several initiatives to boost food processing sector. FDI investment in food manufacturing is 100% which also needs recognising that front-end retail chains which are very important for food processing sector. Our government has opened 100% FDI in food retail including e-commerce for the food products manufactured and produced in India. Also, on the fiscal incentives, 100% Income Tax deductions on capital expenditure for cold chain/ warehouse,” said Vasudevappa.

Stefania Costanza, Consul General of Italy in Mumbai said, “India and Italy are two food superpowers. It would be great opportunity for both the nations.”

Focus on agriculture and food processing

Avinash Subhedar, Joint CEO, Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), spoke about the vision of doubling farmers’ income in India. “The Chief Minister of Maharashtra is focussed on making agriculture and food processing major growth for the state economy and it will be profitable for the nation,” he said.

“The food processing industry sector in Maharashtra had a share of approximately 13 per cent in Indian food processing with growth rate of 12 per cent,” he added.

Arabind Das, Chairman, CII, said, “The culture of India and Italy is deeply rooted in food. India has displayed a natural affinity for food production but a very low proportion of the food is being produced and processed in India. We are still developing in this sector.”

Dr Fabrizio Giustarini, Italian trade commissioner in Mumbai, introduced the Italian delegation members present – CT Pack, Facchinetti, JBT, Metalmont, Nelden Industry and SCA. The delegation will be meeting the Indian companies over one-on-one B2B meetings organised and about 130 odd meetings will be taking place.

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