AN AUSTRALIAN agribusiness delegation met with Indian agri-food industry representatives, as part of the Australia Business Week in India activities, to gain new insights and perspectives on agriculture and trade.
Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker, met with the Confederation of Indian Industry in Chennai on August 28, to discuss the business and trade environment in India, and challenges and opportunities for India's agri-food sector.
“Australia and India share a strong and cooperative relationship, and there are exciting opportunities for us to further strengthen these ties and to expand trade and investment links between our nations' food and agriculture sectors,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“India is the fastest growing major economy in the world, with GDP growth rates forecast to reach 7.7 percent in 2018, compared with the average GDP growth rate of 1.7 percent for G7 member countries.
"India's domestic agri-food demand is expected to increase by 136 percent between 2009 and 2050 — reflecting strong income and population growth.
“Australia understands the strong priority that India places on increasing its food security and agricultural productivity, and I believe there are many mutually-beneficial opportunities for our agri-food sectors to support India in this,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
“Australia aims to be a reliable supplier to India of high-quality agricultural products that can complement domestic supply, undergo further processing and value-adding by Indian businesses, target the high-end of the market, and meet counter-seasonal demand.
“There are exciting opportunities to work together to increase both our nations’ agricultural productivity and efficiency in food supply chains.
“The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources is currently in talks with India to support a proposed MoU between Sugar Research Australia and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research’s Sugarcane Breeding Institute — this will be a partnership between the world's second and third largest sugar exporters.
“This MoU would provide important opportunities to improve Australian and Indian industry productivity and profitability, through variety development, variety exchange, staff exchange, and cooperation on breeding systems and phenomics.
“I look forward to seeing our broad-ranging food and agricultural partnership with India continue to strengthen and grow in coming months and years, including through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.”
Minister Hartsuyker was in India from August 27 to September 1 as part of a delegation to strengthen agricultural ties with India, coinciding with Australia Business Week in India.