Suresh Prabhu, Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry and Civil Aviation, said that partnerships with developed countries in the Middle East, and Saudi Arabia and UAE in particular, were strengthened during the 25th edition of the CII Partnership Summit. The region has been the center for certain food and agriculture trade collaborations.
Prabhu was addressing the Valedictory Session of the CII Partnership Summit held in Mumbai on 12-13 January, 2019 which was organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry in association with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and the Government of Maharashtra.
Prabhu also announced that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia have expressed interest in investing in organic food, processed products, and related logistics in India. “UAE and Saudi have decided to use India as a base for food security... Exports have been identified. India produces 290 million tons of food grain and 305 to 310 million tons of horticulture, so there is huge potential to export and we will be working with the state governments for this,” he said.
Prabhu also said that some districts and states that specialise in certain food products have been identified for such investment: Nasik will be recruited to export grapes, Ratnagiri and Sindurgh for mangoes. He also gave examples about Nagpur for oranges, and Lasalgaon for onions.
He sees this partnership with Saudi Arabia and UAE as a benefit to Indian farmers who he believes will receive a better price for their produce as they will now be able to export any surplus of perishable goods.
Subhash Desai, Hon’ble Minister of Industries & Mining in the Government of Maharashtra, highlighted the efforts taken by the state to implement the efforts of our national government.
Stepan Kubiv, Hon’ble First Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Economic Development and Trade in Ukraine, highlighted the trade partnership and economic strength of Ukraine and its mutually beneficial partnership with India. He said, “This year the summit is organised in Mumbai - The Gateway to India. We are happy to visit the country’s western transit hub and the land of opportunity, and remain proud of the collaboration between India and Ukraine.”
Ramesh Abhishek, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry said, “CII Partnership Summit 2019 has been a productive Summit of discussions and deliberations for the growth and development of Maharashtra and India. Our performance on the Ease of Doing Business index itself is evidence of the journey we have embarked on in the past few years. CII has done a great job in successfully advancing this nationwide dialogue on collaboration”.
Rakesh Bharti Mittal, President of Confederation of Indian Industry and Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, was first on the podium as he remarked on the country’s economic prerogatives. “India's economic reforms have completely changed its financial, fiscal, and economic landscape and introduced radically new perspectives. The goods and services tax (GST), for instance, has brought the country into a single market, while other robust reforms have improved the ecosystem,” he noted.
The session was moderated by Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII.