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Sula wine event, Kotrijk
15th September 2015


Ladies and Gentlemen, Good evening.


2. I am very happy to join you in celebrating the 5th anniversary of import of Sula wines in Belgium. I thank Mr. Bert De Clerck, Wine House De Clerckfor his tremendousefforts in organising the event. I thank BICC&I and VOKA West-Flanders for your support. Your efforts are laudable as profits of this event will be donated to the Sister Jeanne Devos fund for children’s rights, active In Mumbai.


3. Ladies and Gentlemen, your presence here, a transnational French-Belgian Eurodistrict, is an indication that there is interest in Indian wine.I am extremely delighted to see the presence of so many distinguished personalities to support this event.You appreciatewine for its flavour, texture, colour and variety.  As you know, India is a new entrant to the EU market. Soil, weather, geology, varietals, and the style of wine making, are all decisive factors that give each wine a unique character. While the EU is the foremost exporter of wine (worth Euro 9 billion last year), it also imports wine for more than Euros 2 billion. I hope Indian wine would also be able to find a decent place on your dining tables.


4. I congratulate the dynamic CEO of Sula Wines,Mr. Rajeev Samant, for bringing a wine revolution in India and putting the country on world wine map. He was the first to recognize that Nasik had perfect climate for wine and established Sula vineyards. Today, I am informed that the premium Sula wine are available in best hotels and restaurants worldwide.


5. You will be later watching a very appropriately selected film for the occasion“The Hundred-Foot Journey,” which abounds with blended flavors of Indian and French haute cuisine.  It is the story of colliding of two distinct culinary cultures and subsequently their coming togetherdue to their passion and love for food.


6. Indian Economy:A large number of CEOs are present here. I want to draw your attention towards opportunities for investment in India.India is world's largest democracy with around 1.3 billion people.Today, India is the world’s fastest expanding large economy, growing at an annual rate of more than 7%. (India’s GDP is USD2.3 trillion in nominal terms and around USD 8 trillion in Purchasing Power Parity terms).Current Account Deficitshas shrunk from 4.7% in 2012-13 to 1.1 % in 2015.Forex Reserves are at all-time record level ofUS$ 354 billion.  Inflation, which has been major concern in past, is down: latest Consumer Price Index is at 3.8%. Rupee is stable and interest rates are down. The continuous inflow of FDI clearly shows the faith that overseas investors have in the country's economy. Cumulative FDI Inflows including equity is US$ 380 billion. An Equity inflow of USD 44 billion in the last year showed 23% increase over previous year.


7. Steps taken under Make in India initiative: Make in India programmes was launched in September 2014 with the aims to make India a manufacturing hub. It is a major national program designed to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill, protect intellectual property and build a best-in-class manufacturing infrastructure. Improving ‘ease of doing business’, creating enabling infrastructure, opening new sectors for FDI and a new mindset are the pillars of the Make in India initiative.


8. Food Processing Sector in India: Indian food processing industry is widely recognized as a 'sunrise industry' having huge potential for uplifting agricultural economy. India is one of the largest food producers in the world and therefore, a large and diverse raw material base (India has 20 agro-climatic regions). It’s growing market due to rapid urbanization,changing life style and risingincome provide immense opportunities. The Government plans to set up 42 such mega food parks aimed primarily at providing adequate infrastructure facilities for the food processing industry along the value chain from farm to market. 100% FDI is allowed under automatic route in food processing and the industry has received around US$ 6.4 billion worth of foreign investments, so far, of which more than USD 3 billion came last year alone. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) estimates that the food processing sectors have the potential to attract as much as US$ 33 billion of investment over the next 10 years.


Once again, thanks for your support. Enjoy the evening.

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