UAE ranks fourth biggest market for Indian spices as Mumbai plans World Spice Congress

By Krishnan Nayar

NEW DELHI, 29th July, 2023 (WAM) -- The UAE ranked fourth in the world among the top 12 markets for Indian spices in the fiscal year 2022-23, the Spices Board of India announced yesterday.

Spice traders, regulatory authorities, import associations and trade officials from the Gulf will be invited for the 14th World Spice Congress to be held in Mumbai from 15th to 17th September, D Sathiyan, Secretary of the Spices Board, told New Delhi-based foreign correspondents as part of the preparations for the Congress.

Saudi Arabia also figures in the top 12 markets for Indian spices, figures released on the occasion showed. India’s fiscal year begins on 1st April and ends on 31st March.

World Spice Congress 2023 is being organised on the sidelines of the Group of Twenty (G20) Summit to be held in New Delhi in September, Sathiyan said. “It will provide a platform for the stakeholders to discuss the latest trends in the spice business after the COVID-19 pandemic, emerging challenges and the way forward.”

India produces 75 spices out of the 109 varieties listed by the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). In the calendar months of April-May this year, export of Indian spices rose by 40 percent in volume compared to the corresponding months last year, the Spices Board said.

Indian spices are extensively used in Arab cuisine and in South Asian food widely available in the Gulf. They are also used in beverages like tea and coffee in the Gulf.

The theme of the 14th World Spice Congress is “Vision 2030: SPICES.” The acronym SPICES stands for the sub-themes of the Congress – Sustainability, Productivity, Innovation, Collaboration, Excellence and Safety.

The first such Congress was held in 1990. Since then, it has become a biennial event. The Spices Board was created more than three decades ago by an Act of India’s Parliament. It functions under the umbrella of India’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry.