First Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing

New Delhi: ‘Food Processing is considered one of the Champion sectors of India and has been growing steadily with FDI growing by 44% in 2020 over 2019. India’s demand for food is expected to be worth $1.2 trillion over the next 5 years with Ready to Eat and Frozen Food Segments being key drivers’ said Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Hon’ble Minister of Food Processing Industries, addressing the Opening session of the first Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing.

While India’s strength lies in agriculture production, Italy’s strength lies in processing and the manufacturing of goods. ‘Italy is a world leader in food processing and packaging machinery’ said Hon’ble Manlio Di Stefano, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs in charge of International Trade, Italy.

With entrepreneurship and trade at its heart, the Digital Mission is exploring avenues for the two countries to partner in areas of cutting-edge technology, in the food sector. With the emerging global scenario both countries can look at more ambitious trade and partnership opportunities and it is here that this trade mission gains significance.

‘This Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing is the starting point of a new, exciting digital journey, paving the way for a closer connection between our two food processing ecosystems’ said Ambassador Lorenzo Angeloni, Director General for Economic Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Italy.

India offers Italy a huge market for processing technology given its production strengths but nascent levels of processing. The demand for technology is fast expanding and food processing is one segment that has a lot of focus given its significant potential in both employment generation and exports.

‘Food Processing is a key element in India and Italy’s bilateral relationships. Italy wants to diversify its portfolio and investment opportunities—making India an important market for Italy’ said H.E Mr. Vincenzo de Luca, Ambassador of Italy to India.

Italy can thus provide India with knowhow on how to better preserve food and reduce wastages through strengthening cold chain and processing technologies. India, meanwhile, backed by progressive policies on investment and growing young economy provides immense opportunities for growth.

The recent reforms announced under the Prime Minister’s Aatma Nirbhar Bharat stimulus package haven been particularly significant in the agriculture and food sector unlocking several avenues for investment into agri and food enterprises. Amendments towards promoting barrier-free trade in agriculture produce, and scaling of electronic national markets, introduction of a National Farm Gate infrastructure fund are creating the right structural shifts for demand creation and aggregation efficiencies that will open several avenues in the area of food processing.

‘The Indian Food Processing Sector is at the cusp of change, and the opportunity to innovate using technology is huge’ said Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry.

Also speakers from the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), Confindustria, Invest India, KPMG and SACE shared their views at Opening session of the first Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing.

The Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission on Food Processing offers a unique platform for both countries to explore partnership opportunities. Over 23 Italian companies and three (3) Associations (UCIMA (Italian Packaging Machinery Manufacturers Association) for packaging, ASSOFODTEC (Italian Association of food processing machinery manufacturers) and the ANIMA (Italian Association of mechanical and engineering industry) are part of this Digital Mission, exhibiting their products & services through a virtual exhibition.

Also, as part of the Digital Indo-Italian Business Mission, five webinars have been planned to explore and identify opportunities across segments such as Fruits & Vegetables, Cereals, Milk & Dairy processing, Packaging & Bottling and also the opportunities for technical collaborations with the units located in the Mega Food Parks. These will see perspectives shared by over 30 Indian and Italian speakers. Furthermore, the two-day event will also host digital B2B meetings towards strengthening collaboration.

The 2-day digital event is expected to forge partnerships in the area of food processing, which shall further strengthen and consolidate relations between our two countries.

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