Last week, the state became host to the first Indian plant by Indonesian confectionary maker INBISCO under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between the company and the government's industry facilitation arm, iNDEXT-b.
Under the MoU, INBISCO said that it would set up a green field facility in the city of Sanand at an investment of US$200m, which would manufacture confectionary products like cookies and chocolates.
“The manufacturing plant, that would be spread over 85,000sqm is expected to commence production over the next 15 months,” a spokesperson for iNDEXT-b told FoodNavigator-Asia, adding that the facility would be located within Sanand’s Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC) site.
iNDEXT-b, which was previously known as the Industrial Extension Bureau, is the single point of investment promotion agency for all investment-related activities in Gujarat.
According to the spokesperson, the agency is hopeful of attracting more such food manufacturers to the state, and it has been empowered by the government to solicit more INBISCO-like investments. “We are actively looking for more such investments, across the food-processing industry.”
A business friendly state
Gujarat is already considered the most business-friendly state in India with an accommodating tax regime and a lack of red tape that plagues other states in India. It hit its business friendly superstar status when the Tata Group chose Sanand as a production base for Tata Nano, the world’s cheapest car.
For the food processing industry, the state government has said that it is committed to incentivising food manufacturing units in the state by both domestic and multinational players.
For example, under the state’s new agro and food processing policy, the government has provided for single window clearance to ensure entrepreneurs do not have to visit different government offices to obtain the required clearances for setting up industrial units in the state.
To do so, the government has set up an empowered committee responsible for measures and decisions required for proactively promoting the development of agro and food processing industries in the state.
Food Park to boost processing hub status
Gujarat is one of the states that have been granted a mega food-processing park by the central government’s food ministry. The 100-acre park, which is expected to go public by mid-February in the village of Paldi, has recently received the final land clearances from the district administration.
Park promoter the Anil Group is slated for an initial $40m investment in its infrastructure.
“The park will be a one stop hub for food processing companies. They would get all infrastructural facilities in the park including food testing labs, cold storages, and transport solutions,” he said.
The company is expected to start accepting applications from food processors next year, he adds, and the par should be ready by early 2015. The official reveals that the park’s rural location gives it a supply chain natural advantage.