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India-EU can pool in for innovation

New Delhi, Nov 29 (IANS) As India emerges a nation of innovation, it has much to learn and share with the European Union (EU) and also discover a lot together via collaborative efforts, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said here Thursday.

“Global products and services are increasingly bearing the ‘Made in India’ or the ‘Served from India’ stamp,” the minister told the concluding session of the 8th India-EU Business Summit.

“As an innovating nation, India has come a long way,” he told the event that was co-chaired by him with European Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson and attended by business leaders from the two sides, apart from senior officials.

Kamal Nath said for India to sustain its innovative mindset, there was a need to encourage more public-private partnership between government research bodies and private companies.

“There is also a need to create a more collaborative environment in industries, and I am glad to report that this has started happening in the biotech and auto sectors,” he added.

The minister said the EU was in a strong position to drive sustainable innovation – 8 percent of the world’s top 20 research and development spenders were from the EU and many of them ran successful businesses in India.

“I would call on them to look at the grassroots sector more carefully and search for sources of sustainable innovation. They hold potential for generating the growth markets of the future,” he added.

Kamal Nath specifically spoke of the linkage between India’s farm sector and innovation, especially since it was the world’s second largest producer of fruits and vegetables with an opportunity to become a global food supplier.

“I believe India’s farm sector can be lifted just like the manufacturing sector and the country has the potential to become an international powerhouse,” the minister said.

“I am also confident that with some inclusive planning and smart innovation, Indian agriculture can lift its growth rates above the last 10 years average of 2.5 percent to around 4-5 percent,” he said.

“The farm policy recently presented in parliament is the beginning of new green revolution – green linked to agriculture, environment and dollars.”