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Ontario Minister Mr. Harinder Thakhar ready to help India in food processing sector


New Delhi, Feb.19, 2007
Gurkirpal Dodhi

Minister of State for Food Processing Industries Subodh Kant Sahay has said, India's robust economic growth has opened vast investment opportunities which Canadian companies should utilize to invest in its food processing sector.

In response to the Minister's request, Ontario Minister for Small Industries and Entrepreneurship, Harinder Thakhar said Ontario government was ready to help India in setting Food Safety and Standards Labs for quality control of agro-product.

Ontario government was also ready to help India in setting up a National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management that would produce world class entrepreneurs.

The Ontario government welcomed new opportunity for partnerships, he said.

Thakhar, also assured the Minister that the government would encourage Canadian companies and members of Indo-Canadian community to invest in India in food processing sector as this was the area very close to his heart.


"Agro-Food sector is undergoing revolution in India, and it is right time that the Canadian companies should invest in the country in this emerging sector as the government is providing them a number of tax and other incentives," he said while inaugurating an exhibition of Indian processed food products at the International Food and Beverage show at Toronto.

Over 650 companies from 27 countries, including India, USA, Canada, Great Britain, Barbados, Korea, New Zealand, Greece and Indonesia are participating in the show.

Eleven top Indian foods processing companies are participating in the three-day exhibition organized by the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) in collaboration with Marine Product Export Development Authority (MPEDA).

The minister said the government proposed to set up 'Mega Food Processing Park' in each State to encourage foreign direct investment and investment from NRIs, and they would act as a Centre of Excellence.

Later addressing top executives of Canadian Food Processing companies and Indo-Canadian business leaders, he said India needed Canadian know how in food processing sector and invited Indo-Canadian business community, and Canadian companies to invest in this emerging sector.

Satish Mehta, Consul General of India said a silent revolution was going on in agro-food sector in India and it was the great opportunity for NRI and Canadian companies to invest in this sector which was one of the largest in terms of production, consumption, export and growth prospects.

The Minister said a number of Canadian companies have shown interest in setting up supply cold storage chain in the country.

Sahay, said the entire sector has been deregulated and no industrial license was required except in case alcoholic beverages and items reserved for small scale sector.

Automatic approvals up to 100 percent were permissible except in few cases, the Minister added.


Food processing

Ontario Minister for Small Industries and Entrepreneurship, Harinder Thakhar