The Indian Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania (ICCL) together with The Lithuanian Rural Business and Market Development Agency is planning a business mission to India, after receiving a lot of interest from Lithuanian companies in exporting to India. According to Ms. Alina K Adomaityte, the President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania, more than half of the Lithuanian companies have already been interested in this initiative.
Prospective markets for milk and alcoholic beverages:
Deputy Minister of Agriculture Evaldas Gust, Indian Ambassador to Lithuania Tsewang Namgyal, President of the Lithuanian Confederation of Industrialists Robert Dargis, Honorary Consul of India Rajinder K. Chaudhary, experts from various responsible institutions of our state and businessmen discussed at a seminar in Vilnius “Lithuania and India – Undiscovered Opportunities”.
The Honorary Consul of India to Lithuania, Mr. Rajinder K. Chaudhary said that “India is no longer just an exotic country, opening up more and more to economic cooperation every day and becoming a great medium for business development”.
The European Union (EU) is India’s largest trading partner, with the largest investment coming from the EU, with some 6,000 people in India. EU companies that create over 6 million job places.
According to Abhinavayoga Kumar, a spokesman for the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania, the dairy, alcohol, and beer markets are waiting for the new business partners. The demand for these products in India is growing extremely fast.
Lithuanian dairy producers have already rushed to seize the opportunities. Gediminas Kaluževičius, export manager of Pienas LT, the first agricultural cooperation with India this summer, recalling his first business steps to the country, said that the cooperation had a major challenge to start working with one of the largest dairy producers in the world because of the very strict control of investigations, quotas, high duties.
According to G. Kaluževičius, the first steps have been taken, success is expected in the future, but the assistance of state institutions is very necessary. Little is known about Lithuania in India, which is a major obstacle to successful business development.
Peas export experience
Although trade with India accounts for a small share of our country’s foreign trade in agricultural and food products, a few years ago, Lithuania was one of the major exporters of peas to India. Peas and wood accounted for more than half of Lithuanian exports to India.
However, due to the good harvest of legumes in India itself, prices have fallen over the last few years and India has increased its import duties to protect its market. Imports of Lithuanian peas were also suspended by India’s requirement to treat them with methyl bromide. Although it is banned in the EU and some other countries, India requires it to be processed for imported products.
The Ministry of Agriculture has informed that India is due to be in place by 31 December 2019 and has extended the exemption for the use of methyl bromide on plant products imported into India. Although Lithuanian-grown cereals may continue to be exported to India after special processing, according to Dalia Ruščiauskienė, Director of the Lithuanian Association of Cereal Processors, at present, exporting peas to India is too expensive due to high duties. In her view, India remains a very interesting country for processors but requires a strategic approach.
At present, India applies high tariffs (30% duty on dairy products and cereals) and non-tariff trade barriers (quantitative import restrictions, import licensing, bulk verification, long and complex customs procedures) to EU production. According to the European Commission, there are currently 25 Indian non-tariff barriers to EU exports to India – only China and Russia have a higher number of barriers. These barriers to trade could be resolved by a free trade agreement.
A country of great opportunity
The President of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in Lithuania, Alina. K Adomaitytė emphasizes the importance of presenting Lithuania as an EU and Western Bloc state in India and raising the EU’s profile there. Last year India ranked modest 41 in the list of Lithuanian foreign trade partners. According to the Department of Statistics, 136 Lithuanian companies exported to India.
Manufacturers should be tempted by the fact that India is the world’s largest democracy and second only to a population of 1.3 billion. $ 36 million According to United Nations estimates, it should overtake China in ten years’ time. In a few decades, over 800 million people are expected to live in Indian cities. and this will have a huge impact on the food sector, which lack in advanced technology. India is also one of the fastest-growing chocolate markets with annual consumption growth of around 20%. Chocolate is a popular gift in India.
While India is considered a country of new opportunities, experts advise not to forget the challenges of entering its market. For example, there is no corporate database in this country, many fictitious companies. You will need to hire a trusted local representative to establish a reliable relationship.
Complex legal system – different laws and taxes in different states. India remains one of the most challenging markets for intellectual property protection.