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Saturday, Feb 21, 2004

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B2B prospects impress foreign delegates

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The WHO is in the process of making a format for the standardisation of herbal and traditional medicines from around the world. The completion of this process would help ayurvedic and herbal products from Kerala to access markets abroad under the label of medicines.

PICK AND CHOOSE! A view of the interactive session between buyers and sellers on the second day of the Kerala B2B meet in Kochi on Friday. Handloom, handicraft and coir products and machinery were on display at the exhibition. - K.K. Mustafah

Kochi , Feb. 20

THE first-ever Kerala Business to Business Meeting 2004 has attracted nearly 800 one-to-one interactions on the second day. The interactions were held on five select sectors such as coir, handlooms, handicrafts, processed foods and spices and machinery.

Nearly 200 out of the 250 confirmed registered buyers took part in the exhibition and one-to-one discussions held on the day, a spokesman of the Kerala B2B 2004 said. The number of buyers who took part in the discussion could be more than one representative from the confirmed registered buyers attending the section, he said.

Mr Juan Carlos Fernandez, a consultant engineer based in Mexico, told reporters that he came to the meet to source coir products. "I am looking for people to source coir products. The response received so far has been good," he said.

Making a presentation on business opportunities in Canada, Acting Consul General and Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate General in Mumbai, Ms P. Kitnikone, said Canada offers easy access to markets with low labour cost.

Ms Kitnikone said Canada is hoping for business relationships with India in sectors as varied as agriculture and biotechnology, marine technology, education and culture, animation, software and wireless technology.

Mr K.A. Tareen, Manager, Australian Federal Government Agency for Export and Investment Promotions, said Australia is looking for partnerships and alliances in areas like food and agri-business especially in processed food products technologies such as dairy, livestock development and product packing.

Mr Tareen listed automotive and transportation, infrastructure, building material, health, mining etc as other potential areas for developing business relationships.

Making a presentation on business opportunities, Indian Railways Senior Material Manager, Mr K.M. Unni, said manufacturing industries especially belonging to the small and medium sector from Kerala has good potential to establish stable business relationships with the Railways. Mr Unni said the Indian Railways sources products worth Rs 13,800 crore from outside agencies every year. This is a good opportunity for manufacturers from Kerala, he said and pointed out that orders worth Rs 5 lakh were sourced through open tendering while orders worth less than Rs 5 lakh were sourced through a system of registration.

The Joint Director of Foreign Trade, Mr A. Komu, made a presentation regarding the various facilities offered by the office of the GGFT for facilitation exports from the country. Mr M. Gangarajum, Deputy Director General of Supplies and disposals of the Union Government, also highlighted various schemes for the organisation for procuring goods on behalf of Central and State Governments.

Addressing an interactive session, Mr P.H.Kurian, Secretary, Investment Promotion, said the World Health Organisation is in the process of making a format for the standardisation of herbal and traditional medicines system from around the world. The completion of this process would help ayurvedic and herbal products from Kerala to access markets in the advanced countries under the label of medicines. At present, most of the ayurvedic and herbal products from Kerala are sold as nutraceuticals and cosmetics, he said.

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