Thursday, November 19, 2009


India is invariably compared to China in all its endeavors and the latter always score over the latter when it comes to performance and achievements in almost all fields. Here is a peep into the Chinese food sector as reported recently.

The world's most populous country is a net exporter of food and drink, with exports in volume terms worth between 25 million and 30 million tonnes. By value, exports were worth just over US$31bn (A$33.2b) in 2008. Whilst the most significant overseas markets for the Chinese food and drinks industry include nearby Asian countries such as Japan, South Korea and Malaysia, the country is also a major exporter of food and drink to the US, EU countries and Russia. The country's growing significance as a supplier to the global food and drinks industry is mainly the result of its economic performance, together with the development of its domestic food industry. The Chinese economy has been experiencing double-digit increases in recent years, although lower growth is forecast for 2009 as a result of the global economic downturn and its effect on China's overseas export markets. Much of the recent economic growth has occurred in coastal provinces, which has resulted in up to 200 million rural labourers and their dependents moving to urban locations. China's food and drinks industry has developed in line with the country's economy. By value, food industry output has increased by more than 150% between 2004 and 2008, whilst its food retail market has witnessed a shift away from more traditional outlets such as wet markets to modern grocery stores. Such shifts have seen the food industry - particularly large American firms - gravitate toward Chinese expansion in order to capture higher growth rates than they can achieve in developed markets".

In contrast India, in spite of being one of the top producers of agricultural, poultry and livestock based foods, does not count in the global arena when it comes to export of foods, not being able to capture even 1% of global trade in foods. Of course the political system that operates in China is autocratic while India is an over- democratized country where decision taking is hampered by lack of consensus and a moribund bureaucracy. How these restraints can be overcome for India to reach its full potential is a million dollar question!


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