Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Shri Anand Sharmaji, Hon’ble Minister for Labour and employment, fisheries, rural Development, govt. of Goa, Shri Avertano Furtado, Minister for Fisheries, Govt. of Tamil Nadu, Thiru K A Jayabal, Joint Secretary, MoCI, Shri Asit Tripathy, Shri A J Tharakan, President, Seafood Exporters Association of India, Shri Elias Sait, Secretary General, SEAI, Awardees, Delegates, distinguished guests, the press and media corps and dear friends…
It is really a great privilege to stand here and welcome this distinguished gathering assembled for the inaugural ceremony of the 19th International Seafood Show. One of the largest seafood fairs in Asia, this biennial International Seafood Show of India , has emerged as a premium seafood expo and gives the seafood fraternity a great opportunity to meet, exchange ideas and learn about technological advances in the world. Of course the event also presents a great business opportunity for the world to do business with India.
Our chief guest for today, the Hon’ble Minister of Commerce & Industry, Shri Anand Sharma needs no introduction to this august audience. He, and his ministry –that of Commerce and Industry, have stood like a rock in the support of the seafood sector. Without the whole hearted support we could not have achieved what we have. Mr. Anand Sharma has been a prominent leader in the student and youth movement f our country.He is the founder member of the congress party’s youth wing of NSUI. Architect of India’s foreign direct investment policy, Mr. Sharma is known for his decisive actions and candid views. In spite of his extremely busy schedule, he accepted our invitation to come for inaugurating the seafood show without any hesitation. Sir, we are indeed grateful to you for graciously and readily accepting our invitation. We are also very highly honoured sir by your presence here today. In fact the show would have been incomplete without your august presence. On behalf of the organizers of the IISS and on my own behalf I warmly and respectfully welcome you.
I have also great pleasure in welcoming the Hon’ble Minister from Goa Shri Avertano Furtado . He is a social worker and an environmentalist apart from being a politician. Mr. Avertano Furtado was the first dignitary who enthusiastically accepted our invitation to participate in this India International Seafood Show. I would like to thank you Sir for coming and I warmly welcome you.
Shri K A Jaypal, Minister for fisheries, govt. of Tamil Nadu has been pillar of strength for the fisheries sector activities in the State of Tamil Nadu. He has ensured that a number of steps are taken for the welfare of the fishermen in the State. Sir, I would like to warmly welcome you to the show. While the Director General Foreign Trade, Shri Anup Pujari could not make it for the function due to some sudden pressing official meeting, he has conveyed his best wishes for the Show and the growth of the sector. I am grateful to him for his wishes.
This is also the first time that the Joint secretary in charge of the sector, has attended the inauguration of the seafood show. Prompt and totally supportive we are very grateful to you for your unstinted support .knowing that you handle one of the most important and busy desk, which includes China in MOCI, we are also grateful for your presence and we extend a warm welcome to you.
I would also like to welcome my batch mate and dear friend Dr. Dileep Kumar Samantray, who is the Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety Standards Authority of India.
I also have great pleasure in congratulating the export awardees who have earned their distinction on account of the hard work they have put in their enterprises for promoting the export of Indian seafood products. They withstood adverse circumstances and emerged with flying colours. I have great pleasure welcoming all the award winners for the year 2011-12 and 2012-13 to this function.
It is really wonderful to see such a large participation for the event. We have more than 1000 Delegates present from all the major markets of Indian seafood across the globe. I know that many of you have travelled from quite a distance to participate in the seafood show and be with us today. I would like to warmly welcome all our friends from Norway, Vietnam, Germany, Denmark, USA, Japan, Singapore, Egypt, UAE, UK, China, AUSTRALIA, Spain, Greece, Korea, Yemen, Hong Kong. I would like to acknowledge and specially welcome the delegates from Japan who are here for the second time consecutively.
IISS has been really growing since MPEDA and the Seafood Exporters Association of India, the organizers of the show revamped the show in 2010.From 87 stall in 2008 spread over 2000 sq. mtrs. Today in 2014 we have 355 stalls spread over 6600 sq. mtrs. 40% of the space has been utilized by foreign companies and I am sure that the next event would be bigger and we will have to spread to other Halls also in this venue. Apart from Stalls, the number of visitors has also grown exponentially. While we are constantly taking steps to make the seafood show a bigger event, and showcase it accordingly, it is true that the growth has been possible because the international buyers have also recognized India as an important seafood country and the show as an important event. The Indian seafood industry has been growing by leaps and bounds especially over the last three years when the industry has achieved a Year on Year growth of 20-22%. This, inspite of extremely adverse conditions in the world economies. In the last Financial Year i.e.2012-13, During 2012-13, the seafood export from the country registered an all-time high figure in terms of value, as well as volume. India has exported more than 9,28,000 tons, worth 3.5 Billion US $ of seafood. During the current year by end November we have already crossed the 3 billion mark US $. We are hopeful that this year our exports will cross 4 Billion in terms of USD. The exports of frozen shrimp has now become the major item even terms of volume – it is 66% of our exports. Of this cultured shrimp contributes 78%. The important point to note is that the unit value of seafood from India especially shrimp has increased tremendously registering a growth of 30 to 32%.
This year the US is emerging as the number one seafood destination market for India and the increase of exports to that country has already shown an increase of nearly 73% over the previous year’s export for the same period and that too in US dollar terms. Hence there is much to cheer about for us.
Hence it is evident that the seafood export industry in India has surged to new highs. Today the Indian seafood industry is on a totally different footing as to what it was in the late sixties. India has taken a major position in the Global seafood market and our seafood is one of the biggest foreign exchange earners for the country as there is practically no outflow of foreign exchange associated with the sector. Today we have world class seafood factories following quality control procedure meeting the most stringent of international standards. Though shrimp – both black tiger and Vannamei continues to dominate our export basket, the Indian seafood industry has diversified its product range. I am sure the next decade the MPEDA SEAI combine will see the Indian seafood industry playing the dominant role in the international seafood sector. I would take this occasion to recognize and remember that the booming market of India’s seafood is built on the sweat and toil of the fishermen and the fish farmers. I would also like to caution that the success – though heady – should not turn to greed – which can then become disastrous.
India is today laying a great emphasis on conservation of our seas. It is because of this that “Guilt free Seafood from India “is the theme of IISS 2014. It signifies the fact that the Indian seafood is produced in a truly sustainable manner, be it from the capture or culture resources. Therefore, this platform is also to reassure the global consumer that the conservation is a major movement in India. Indian seafood is safe food, procured from pristine waters of the peninsular India or grown environmentally clean and controlled farms.
I will be failing in my duty if I do not acknowledge the role our platinum sponsors have played a great role in making this event so grand and vibrant. My special thanks and a special welcome to the Chairman & Managing Director of Indian Bank Shri T.M. Bhasin, Chairman & Managing Director of Indian Overseas Bank Shri M Narendra, Chief Executive Officer of Federal Bank Shri Shyam Srinivasan and the Chairman NFDB. I would also like to specially welcome Dr S K Saxena, Director EIC, Mr Bhat of Mangala Marine and the representatives of EXIM bank for their presence and their kind gesture in sponsoring this event. I would specially thank and welcome the officers of SBT for all their contributions in making this function a big and huge success.
The IISS has also organized a number of technical sessions as well as demonstration sessions. I take thisopportunity to welcome all the participants.
I would also like to specially welcome Mrs. Madhavi Nair, Daughter of Shri T P K Nair the first full time Chairman of MPEDA, thank you for altering all your travel plans to be here with us today to receive the first copy of MPEDA’s story of 40 years.
With all the support I see around me, I trust the seafood export sector can expect to surge forward and achieve new milestones in the coming years.
Thank you all and I wish all of you a wonderful experience and creative business interactions in the couple of days, ahead. Once again a hearty welcome to one and all.
Jai hind .