Greece aiming to break into massive India market, agriculture minister says

Greece has set its sights on the large market of India with its sprawling population of 1.3 billion people, with food exports that will help improve the balance of trade between the two countries, Rural Development and Foods Minister Vangelis Apostolou told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Saturday.

“India is a country where we want to go. It has the second-largest population in the world, with 1.3 billion people, and it is the third-ranking, with upward tendencies, agricultural country worldwide, Apostolou said ahead of the arrival of his Indian counterpart Shri Radha Mohan Singh next Wednesday for a three-day visit.

The dairy, fruits and vegetables sectors will be the “engines” of the effort to reduce Greece’s trade deficit with India, where an improvement has already started to become apparent in recent years, he added.

Apostolou reported an increase in Greek exports of fruit, vegetables, cotton, oil and raisins to India, from which Greece imported fish, grains, fruits and vegetables, cocoa, coffee, tea, herbs, animal feed and tobacco.

He noted that Indians were acquainted with Mediterranean cuisine and the high quality of Greek agricultural products, while they were able to supply tropical fruits, such as mangos, that Greece currently imported from other countries. The Greek side will also try to increase its share in the imports to India of fruits and vegetables – such as kiwi or oranges that are produced in Greece.

During his visit, the Indian minister will meet Parliament President Nikos Voutsis and visit the Acropolis Museum, while his trip will also include a visit to a large olive oil production unit in Kalamata and a winery in Nemea. On the last day of his visit on Friday, there will be a meeting with entrepreneurs at the Indian Embassy in Athens.