SL is Window to Larger Markets of India for Agri-Processed Food
Sri Lankan Agri and Processed food exporters need to focus on non-traditional exports to the Indian market and utilise the unique duty concessions offered to Sri Lanka for Agri-products under ISFTA, Sri Lanka Consul General in Mumbai, Chamari Rodrigo said Addressing a Webinar, she said, the present business environment in Sri Lanka is conducive as Sri Lanka is successfully controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and the Government is committed to facilitate and promote the business climate in Sri Lanka.
A programme to promote Sri Lankan Agri-products and Processed Food in the Indian market was launched in Mumbai a week ago to implement President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Export Economic Policy.
Accordingly, a webinar on ‘India - Sri Lanka Current Business Environment and Opportunities for Joint Collaborations for Agri and Processed Food Sector’, organised by the Sri Lanka Consulate in Mumbai, in collaboration with the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce [CCC] and IMC Chamber of Commerce & Industry (IMC), Mumbai was held on 29 September 2020. This was the first online forum targeting to promote & diversify Sri Lanka’s Agri-Products and Processed Food to the Indian market.
“Joint ventures between Sri Lankan Agro industry and Indian post-harvest industry could yield many benefits for both countries through technology transfers and advanced machinery,” the Consul General added.
The President of IMC Chamber Rajiv Podar, in his remarks, said the IMC chamber has always encouraged healthy business relationships between India and Sri Lanka and feels that there are a number of opportunities to create synergies between the two countries in the Agri-and Processed-Food Sector. He further said, India has improved its food processing technology and post - harvest technology and Sri Lankan businesses could benefit from it through joint ventures.
Chief Executive Officer of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Manjula de Silva said that Indian investors have vast experience in value addition activities and the Sri Lankan Agri Sector, especially fruits and vegetables, can benefit from Indian investments. “Aqua culture, value added coconut products and confectionary are other potential sectors for value addition,” he added.
Presentations on opportunities and strengths of the domestic Agri-and Processed-Food sector were made by two Indian resource persons highlighting the fact that the demand for processed food has been growing substantially due to the increasing urban middle class in India and Sri Lankan exporters could utilise these untapped opportunities.
Chairman of Sri Lankan Agripreneurs Rizvi Zaheed, shared his perspective on the diversified Sri Lankan Agri-and Processed-Food sector and the global recognition accumulated by Sri Lankan products through adherence to high manufacturing standards and innovation. Sri Lanka could be used as a window for Indian Agri Products to enter markets, such as China, Japan and European countries by leveraging on the reputation of Sri Lankan Agri Products on a preferential basis. “Indian investment in value addition and storage facilities in the Agri and Processed Food sector was welcomed” he said.