| | DECEMBER 20239IN FOCUSHOZON EV STARTS OVERSEAS PRODUCTION IN THAILANDINDIA PURSUES PULSE IMPORT AGREEMENTS WITH ARGENTINA & BRAZILIndia, after establishing memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with Mozambique, Malawi, and Myanmar for importing pulses, has now approached Argentina and Brazil. The intention is to engage these South American nations in cultivating tur and urad varieties, with an agreement for exporting these products to India. Initial talks have commenced with Argentinian authorities to cultivate pulse varieties that India frequently imports in substantial quantities. Rohit Kumar Singh, the Secretary of the Department of Consumer Affairs, held discussions with the Ambassador of Argentina in India, Hugo Javier Gobbi, regarding the cultivation of pulses in Argentina. During a recent visit by Brazilian agriculture ministry officials to India, Indian representatives encouraged Brazilian authorities to explore the feasibility of such an agreement.The government aims to decrease reliance on pulse imports from select countries by exploring the cultivation of urad and tur varieties in South American nations, leveraging their favorable weather conditions. India imported 2.28 million tonnes of pulses this year, including lentils, tur (pigeon peas), and urad (black gram), primarily from Australia, Canada, Myanmar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Sudan, and Malawi.Brazil annually produces 3 million tonnes of various bean varieties, fulfilling domestic demand and exporting to Vietnam, Pakistan, and Egypt. India is considering the cultivation of pulses, particularly tur and urad, in Ethiopia and Tanzania to augment its internal supplies. Previously, India signed an MoU with Mozambique to import 0.2 million tonnes of arhar for five years, which was extended for another five years in September 2021 when tur prices surged to Rs 200 per kilogram in 2016. Additionally, in 2021, India inked MoUs with Malawi and Myanmar for annual imports of 50,000 tonnes and 0.1 million tonnes of tur, respectively, until 2025. Neta Auto has commenced operations at its initial international electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in Thailand, marking an expansion of its footprint in Southeast Asia. The Southeast Asian nation aims to promote the adoption of electric cars as a component of its efforts toward decarbonization. As per the report, the plant, belonging to Neta Auto, a subsidiary of Chinese automaker Hozon New Energy Automobile, is anticipated to produce up to 20,000 vehicles annually, with full-scale manufacturing set to begin in the first quarter of 2024, as stated in a press release from Neta Auto.The initial vehicle produced at the Thai facility is the Neta V-II, an electric subcompact crossover deemed by Neta Auto as a crucial milestone in its global growth strategy. The company aims to fulfill the increasing demand for purely electric cars in Thailand and other ASEAN countries, as highlighted in a separate statement by the company.In August 2022, Neta Auto ventured into the Thai market by introducing the budget-friendly Neta V electric subcompact crossover, assembled in China, marking its inaugural expansion overseas. The initial three quarters of 2023, the Neta V secured the position as Thailand's second-best-selling EV model, with sales reaching 9,294 units. It trailed behind BYD's Atto 3 during this period.
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