Thu, Nov 22, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Indian market offers opportunities for Taiwan: envoy

Staff writer, with CNA

India’s growing market for agricultural and processed food products presents a big opportunity for Taiwanese companies, an Indian envoy said.

With a population of 1.2 billion and a vast emerging middle class, India has seen rising demand for processed food, India-Taipei Association Director-General Pradeep Kumar Rawat said in a recent interview.

The market for processed food in India has been growing by a compounded annual growth rate of close to 20 percent, Rawat said.

“Since Taiwan has some very strong food processing industries ... I’m sure they can dig some part of the food processing industries in India,” he said.

He said the Indian government recognizes the potential of the sector and has been offering incentives in areas such as warehousing, refrigerated transportation and processing to attract foreign firms.

India has also established a food processing zone so that companies can enjoy incentives and have access to infrastructure, Rawat said.

There are also good opportunities for Taiwanese investors in India’s farming and fisheries sectors, particularly because India is now encouraging a second green revolution that promotes better agricultural techniques and machinery, he said.

“Taiwan can certainly take advantage because Taiwan’s agriculture is quite advanced,” he said, urging Taiwanese companies to start looking at areas ranging from grain, fertilizer and machinery supply to storage and processing.

In addition, Rawat said Taiwan and India could combine their respective strengths in hardware and software to launch information technology (IT) products.

Software now accounts for a higher share of the total cost of an IT product, Rawat said. Furthermore, the life cycle of products is getting shorter, which means more resources are required to design new products.

“And that is where India could also be very helpful for Taiwanese companies, because India has huge human resources, which can help to shorten the product cycle and also lower the cost of design and development of new products,” he said.

Rawat added that a two-year feasibility study of an economic cooperation agreement between Taiwan and India was going well and should be finalized in the next few months.

However, the actual signing could take years, depending on the issues involved and the willingness of the two sides to consider each other’s interests, he said.

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