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Exports Vital To India's Economy

INDIA - India, one of the world's top ten marine products producer, is gradually emerging as a vital supplier of fresh seafood for the booming reprocessing industries in Asean markets, reports the Malaysian National News Agency.

Indian seafood exporters are slowly veering towards countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam, to feed soaring demand from domestic industries.

Anwar Hashim, president of the Seafood Exporters Association of India, said: "Nearly 85 per cent of India's seafood exports go to Europe, the US, Japan and China. But in recent years, there has been a marked change towards Southeast Asia."

"Exports to these markets have increased by 20-25 per cent."

India produces about nine million tonnes of seafood annually but only between nine-10 per cent or about 880,000 tonnes, is exported to overseas markets, with the balance consumed domestically.

According to the Kerala based association, India is expected to ship marine products worth nearly $3.3 billion this year.

Its marine export's list mainly includes black water tiger shrimp, ribbon fish, white shrimps and crabs, largely arriving from the coast of Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.

"We export a lot of fish to Thailand, Viet Nam and Malaysia as well as sardines, mackerel and shrimps, mostly for reprocessing."

"The close proximity of these countries which are becoming increasingly affluent, and the drop in duties after the signing of the Asean-India free Trade Agreement in 2009, has helped our exports," said Mr Hashim.

In Southeast Asia, the world's dominant seafood exporter, Viet Nam is projected to export six billion dollars worth of marine products this year and Thailand close to four billion dollars.

the Fish Site Editor

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