India has significant upside potential in Caribbean F&B sector
India’s relations with Caribbean countries already have deep ethnic roots that trace back to the 19th century, when contract agricultural labourers from India were shipped to work in plantations. Ethnic Indians form around 30-40% of the populations in Guyana, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago, and are also present in lesser numbers in other countries like Jamaica and the Bahamas. The Indian diaspora is quite active in Caribbean nations, ensuring significant demand for Indian products.
Food and beverages products constitute 16.8% of the total imports of Caribbean countries. In 2020, the regions’ F&B imports stood at US$ 9.07 billion. Top imports are food preparations, n.e.s., milled rice, maize, frozen cuts and edible offal of fowls and tobacco. Leading suppliers for F&B products in this region are the US, Netherlands, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Canada. The US accounts for over 44% of the Caribbean nations’ F&B imports.