Webinar on India-UAE trade in F&B, foodtech and packaging
Trade Promotion Council of India organised a webinar on India-UAE: Trade & investment opportunities in agri and food processing in association with the Consulate General of India (CGI) Dubai on August 29, 2021 at 10:30 am UAE Time, 12:00 Noon IST.
Following are the esteemed panellists who will be sharing their views during the webinar:
• Dr. Aman Puri, Consul General of India, Dubai
• Mr. Saleh Abdullah Lootah, Chairman, Food & Beverage Manufacturing Business Group, Dubai
• Mr Suresh Kumar, Chairman, Indian Business and Professional Council, Dubai
• Mr. R. Senguttuvan, Chairman of Sectoral Committee on Food Processing & Packaging Technology, TPCI & former Chief Executive – Packaging & Printing Division, ITC Ltd & Managing Director – Wimco Ltd.
• Mr. Sanjay Grover, Vice Chairman of Sectoral Committee on Food Processing & Packaging Technology, TPCI and Vice President – International Business Division, Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Ltd.
• Mr. Abhishek Poddar, Vice Chairman, Food & Beverage Sectoral Committee, TPCI and MD, Nani Agro Foods
• Mr. Ashok Sethi, Director, Trade Promotion Council of India
The session was moderated by Virat Bahri, Deputy Director-Media & Corporate Communications, Trade Promotion Council of India.
The webinar aimed to enlighten stakeholders on the trade, investment and collaboration opportunities specifically in Food & Beverage (highlighting how India can also contribute to food security), Food Processing technology & Packaging Technology.
India-UAE relations have garnered immense significance over the years. These relations have been built over at least a millennium of religious, cultural and economic engagement, fuelled by barter trade and people-to-people contacts over centuries.
When we cut to the present, besides shared geopolitical outlooks, the UAE’s vision for a diversified, knowledge-based 21st century economy finds strong compatibility with India’s thrust to achieve its phenomenal economic potential. The past few years have seen intensified India-UAE engagement at all levels. When it comes to trade, UAE is India’s third largest trading partner with bilateral trade of US$ 59.1 billion in 2019-20. It declined to US$ 43.3 billion in 2020-21 due to the COVID pandemic.
UAE has initiated attempts for a broader India-Gulf Cooperation Council dialogue on reviving talks for their bilateral Free Trade Agreement early this year. Early analysis has identified about 1,100 products, including washing machines, ACs, refrigerators, spices, tobacco, cotton fabrics, textiles and leather that can see higher exports through an India-GCC deal. Talks for an India-UAE bilateral FTA have already begun. These are expected to help India further expand in the UAE market, and leverage it as a gateway to the GCC region and beyond.
India’s food exports to UAE were estimated at US$ 1.89 billion in 2020 and imports were at US$ 363 million. Last year, the two nations made a resolve to treble their bilateral trade volume in food and agritech sectors in the next five years. India wants to work very closely with the UAE as a reliable partner in food security, and the UAE-India food corridor is slated to attract investments of US$ 7 billion from the UAE. This recognition of mutual complementarities in the F&B sector, which is, thus far, still a relatively unexplored area, makes this webinar both relevant and topical for the industry in both countries.