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BENGALURU : India is exploring new markets to import edible oil amid disruption in supplies from Ukraine and Indonesia, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. 

She also urged industry to explore new markets for their exports to fill supply gaps left by Russia and Ukraine following the war.

"Now, we are importing edible oils from various other markets and are also looking at newer markets," said Sitharaman.

Indonesia has banned palm oil exports, which accounts for nearly half of India's total edible oil imports. Ukraine has also banned export of sunflower oil. The two countries accounted for nearly 65% of India's total annual edible oil imports.

She added that due to the Ukraine-Russia conflict, there is an opportunity for industrialists in terms of tapping those markets for exports from India.

"Earlier, Russia and Ukraine were exporting to some markets. Now, they are not exporting (due to the conflict). We have got an opportunity to export to those countries (where Ukraine and Russia were exporting). You (as industrialists) should also look at opportunities in every challenge and the Central government was always ready to offer its support," she said.

Sitharaman was speaking at the Stakeholder's Outreach Programme organised by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade as India signed a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with the United Arab Emirates and the Economic Cooperation Trade Agreement (ECTA) with Australia.

The Finance Minister also urged industries to “identify a partner for making a joint venture" in Australia and the United Arab Emirates, following the signing of agreements signed by India with the two countries.

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