India opens doors for Italian investment in food parks

A two-day virtual event on food processing, organised by the Embassy of Italy and the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) highlighted the potential of Italy’s expertise in the food processing and packaging sector and how India can benefit from it.

12 Aug 2020 | By PrintWeek Team

The event which concluded on 16 July saw a series of digital conferences, trade fairs, B2B meetings, and webinars, with participation from senior government officials from India and Italy. Among other topics, the event emphasised on the surge in demand for packaged food products amid the Covid-19 crisis and how it has created new opportunities.

"India is promoting food processing in a big way by offering an incentive of USD 1 billion, with the hope of leveraging another investment of USD 5 billion. We invite Italy to invest in us and our 42 mega food parks. You can come and just plug and play,” said Harsimrat Kaur Badal, minister of food processing industries in India. “We have opened up to the importance of ready-to-eat and frozen food due to the current situation.”

The event kicked off with a session that featured representatives from governments of India and Italy, stakeholders from the food technology industry and trade association members involving more than 600 companies from both nations. During the inaugural session of the event, Vincenzo de Luca, ambassador of Italy to India, said, "Italy will promote a technological partnership in the framework of further development of the Make in India initiative, therefore contributing to support the role of India as a global manufacturing platform."

The event’s speakers emphasised on strengthening economic ties between the two countries, boosting partnerships in the food sectors, the Indian government's efforts in making investments in India easier and re-establishing it as the fastest-growing economy in the world. While other key sessions and webinars stressed on the food processing technologies that were dedicated to fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products and cereal processing and packaging, featuring marquee names from Indian and Italian industries.

They also explored the opportunities for promoting innovation and collaboration in food processing technologies between India and Italy that help reduce wastage levels and other areas that include infrastructure, cold chain, processing infrastructure and R&D for innovative methods of processing and packaging.

The organisers claimed that over 10,00 accesses were registered on the CII Hive platform, over 300 B2B were conducted and more than 70,000 persons attended the live streaming of the main session on the social media channels.

Italian packaging and food processing machinery statistics 

In 2016, Italy produced more than USD 8.5 billion worth of packaging machinery and USD 7.5 billion worth of food processing technologies with 70% exports. In 2019, it exported USD 54.9 million worth of packaging machines to India.