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Suresh Prabhu reviews proposed agri export, industrial policies

Aug 21, 2018

Commerce and industry minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday reviewed two proposed policies- on agriculture export and new industrial policy to take the country’s exports to a new level. 
 
Held a meeting with the Commerce Secretary and senior officials of @dgftindia today. Discussed various export promotion strategies and reviewed the upcoming Agri Export policy and Industrial Policy. We are working on new initiatives to take India's export to the next level, Prabhu said in a tweet. 
 
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last week said a new agriculture export policy will be unveiled soon to boost farm income as the government is on track to achieve the target of doubling farmers' income by 2022. 
 
 
The Commerce and Industry Ministry in March came out with a draft 'Agriculture Export Policy', aimed at doubling agricultural exports and integrate Indian farmers and farm products to the global value chain. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



BIMSTEC countries call for free trade pact

Aug 21, 2018

Ahead of the 4th BIMSTEC Summit to be held in Kathmandu (Nepal) on August 30-31, 2018, Heads of Missions of BIMSTEC member countries on Monday underlined the need for conclusion of negotiations for a BIMSTEC Free Trade Agreement and trade facilitation measures.
 
Speaking at a meeting today on 'Fourth BIMSTEC Summit: Expectations, Challenges and Opportunities', organised by FICCI, the  Heads of Missions expressed disappointment that 13 years after the framework agreement was finalised, FTA was still being negotiated. They felt that the time was ripe for BIMSTEC leaders to give unequivocal directives to facilitate  conclusion of FTA.
 
The panelists shared their vision for the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) as a catalyst for regional economic development over the next twenty years. The BIMSTEC member nations are: Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and Nepal.
 
The unanimous view of the BIMSTEC envoys was that out of the 14 identified priority sectors of cooperation, there was a need to focus on select areas such as connectivity, energy, trade, investment, climate change and counter-terrorism measures.
 
This, they said, would give visibility to the regional grouping and make it a meaningful platform for prosperity in the region.
    
Source: Sme Times



Agri minister urges Moldova to explore farm imports from India

Aug 21, 2018

European country Moldova should consider importing agriculture items, including fruits and vegetables, from India, Union Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh said today.
 
Singh said this in a meeting with Tudor Ulianovschi, Minister of Foreign Affairs and European Integration of the Republic of Moldova here.
 
The minister called for strengthening traditional ties between the two countries by promoting closer cooperation in the agriculture sector, an official statement said.
 
During his meeting, Singh highlighted the country's tremendous progress in the agriculture sector.
 
He also spoke about the government's goal to double farmers' income by 2022 through a series of reforms, namely Soil Health Card, organic farming, crop insurance, irrigation, e-NAM etc.
 
We have achieved food security and have become a net exporter of agriculture commodities, Singh said.
    
Source: Business Standard



Badal urges food processing firms to contribute to Kerala flood relief

Aug 21, 2018

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of food processing industries, Government of India, has appealed to all the firms in the food processing industry to come to the aid of the victims of the flood that have ravaged Kerala by generously donating processed food products.
 
Stating that thousands of people in the the southern state had been rendered homeless, she added that there was an urgent requirement for processed foods and that the ministry of food processing industries (MoFPI) had nominated two officers to coordinate these relief efforts.
 
Badal directed the industries to contact Parag Gupta, joint secretary, and Atyanand, deputy secretary, to make the desired donations, and informed that upon her request, ITC and Britannia had already delivered three lakh packets of biscuits to the Government of Kerala.
 
She added that the packets were delivered to officials in Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Mallapuram for further distribution to those affected. We will make efforts to ensure that more donations coming to us following this appeal are dispatched to Kerala at the earliest, Badal said. 
 
    
Source: Fnb News



India's rice heads to Beijing now

Aug 21, 2018

China is set to import Indian basmati and non-basmati rice for the first time, said millers and traders who have started getting inquiries from buyers from the neighbouring nation. 
 
Beijing has already cleared 19 Indian rice companies to buy rice from. India exports 4 million tonnes of aromatic basmati rice a year and expects that to grow 5% this year with the opening of the new market, traders said. The country ships another 8.5 million tonnes of non-basmati rice to international markets. 
 
Trading companies like Louis Dreyfus, Cofco Agri and regional players like Beijing Guchuan Rice Mills and Nice Foods are keen to import basmati, nonbasmati and even broken rice from India. It is a good development for Indian rice companies and farmers, said Vijay Setia, president of the All India Rice Exporters Association. 
 
Kohinoor Foods, LT Foods, KRBL, Lalitha Enterprises Industries, Sriram Foods and Gajanan Rice Mills are among companies which have the permission to export to China and are already in talks with buyers. 
 
The trade expects four more Indian companies to get clearance to export post China’s General Administration of Customs and state-owned food processing company Cofco making an inspection of Indian mills, said BV KrishnaNSE 0.00 % Rao, managing director of Pattabhi Agro Foods. It’s a great opportunity and a huge market to tap into. With large disposable incomes, the consumer is looking for quality product. China wants freshly milled rice which is soft and sticky, said Setia. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



ASSOCHAM opens office in North America to boost trade with US

Aug 21, 2018

Eyeing more trade with the US, industry body ASSOCHAM has opened a representative office in North America, a press release said on Monday. 
 
Chaired by Pavan Abraham, president, PeopleHive LLC, the North America office of The Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) forms part of the chamber’s strategic plan to expand into promising markets and strengthen global competitiveness of Indian businesses.
 
It would also work towards attracting foreign investment to India.
 
The ASSOCHAM chapter office would actively promote, support and facilitate investors, entrepreneurs, and other leaders across the region and further boost the immense potential for bilateral trade and commerce that exists between India and the US especially in sectors like defence, natural gas, energy, education, space tech, healthcare and others, said ASSOCHAM president, Sandeep Jajodia.
 
We at ASSOCHAM are committed to strengthening our presence in countries that provide opportunities for growth and expansion for Indian business community and looking at the potential between the two countries we encourage domestic companies to explore business opportunities in North America and we are willing to assist them in this regard, said the ASSOCHAM chief.
    
Source: Sme Times



Trade talks may firm up commodity prices here

Aug 21, 2018

Global and domestic prices of cotton, edible oil and soyabean may firm up if talks between the US and China move toward a resolution of the ongoing trade war. 
 
Constructive trade talks between the US and China will impact positively on commodities, majorly on metals and industrial agri-commodities like edible oil, soyabean and cotton, says Anuj Gupta, deputy vice-president of commodities research, Angel Commodities Broking. 
 
Chinese and US negotiators are planning talks to resolve their trade row from August 21. Gupta says the prices of these commodities fell sharply after a tariff war between the two countries started in April this year. Both the US and China have put tariffs on an estimated $34 billion worth of imports from either of the countries. 
 
 
The trade war scenario between two economic giants led to a fall in prices of commodities as buying and selling between two major buyers and sellers stopped. For example, cotton prices which were at 94 cents per pound fell to 81 cents per pound. Now, with trade talks commencing, the global and domestic markets are expected to react positively, says Gupta, adding that after this tariff and trade war, some demand has shifted to India. On Ncdex, soyabean prices were hovering around Rs 3,900 a quintal in April and this month prices have made a low of Rs 3,282 a quintal. In international markets, soyabean prices corrected almost 24 per cent since April 2018 from the highest level in April 2018 of $1,067 per bushel to $810 per bushel. Further, palm oil corrected almost 9 per cent from $2,418 per tonne in April to $2,190 per tonne this month. 
 
    
Source: Economictimes.indiatimes



FSSAI notifies Food Fortification Regulations FBOs must comply by Jan 1

Aug 21, 2018

FSSAI has notified the Food Fortification Regulations, 2018, while food business operators (FBOs) need to comply with the provisions of these regulations by January 1, 2019.
 
The provisions of these regulations shall supersede the standards for fortification of food set out in any regulations, orders, or guidelines issued under the Act, said the notification.  
 
The new standards now provide a minimum and maximum range for fortification of staples like wheat flour (atta), maida, rice, salt, vegetable oil and milk, while the dosage of the micronutrients has been adjusted to provide 30 to 50 per cent of the daily requirements. 
 
In milk and oil, the unit of dosage has been changed to microgram Retinol Equivalent for Vitamin A and microgram for Vitamin D from IU. In wheat flour and rice fortification, other sources of iron have been added, while vanaspati fortification has been excluded.
 
According to the country’s apex food regulator, since the adoption of the standards, 62 top companies and their 110 brands of all five fortified staples are available in the open market across the nation. Leading the movement, the oil and milk industry, with 47 per cent packaged refined edible oil industry and 21 per cent of the organised milk industry is fortifying their products as per FSSAI standards.
 
Over two years since the operationalisation of the standards, edible vegetable oil industry has adopted fortification as a best practice. Following this, mandatory oil fortification is proposed to be the way forward, said Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI.  
 
As a result of massive advocacy launched by FSSAI and Food Fortification Resource Centre (FFRC), fortified staples (wheat flour, oil and DFS) are being used in Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and the Mid-Day Meal (MDM) Scheme, he added.
    
Source: Fnb News



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