Bhubaneswar: The Government of Odisha, India in association with the Indian Embassy in Japan, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), and the Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), hosted the Odisha Business Meet Tokyo 2023 on 5th April 2023.
Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha, Mr Kazuya Nakajo, Executive Vice-President, JETRO, and Senior Officials from the Government of Odisha, IPICOL & FICCI were present in the meeting, which was attended by over 200 delegates, representing various industries from across Japan.
Pradeep Kumar Jena, Chief Secretary, Government of Odisha, welcomed the august gathering and shed light on how Odisha has been one of the major breakout states in the country in terms of development, registering impressive GSDP growth rates year-after-year and industrializing at break-neck speed under the leadership of the Chief Minister.
Speaking on the occasion, Kazuya Nakajo, Executive Vice-President, JETRO, highlighted the emerging business opportunities between Japan and India.
He termed the partnership between the two countries more as a “Familial Bond” rather than a “Business Relationship”.
Nakajo spoke about the various upcoming measures being taken by the Government of India including the creation of large-scale industrial infrastructure across the country and urged his Japanese friends to seriously consider major investments in India.
He also highlighted Odisha’s strategic location and natural resource advantage as a key to Odisha being an attractive investment destination for Japanese investors.
Mr Mayank Joshi (IFS), Deputy Head of Mission, Indian Embassy of Japan, highlighted the ease of doing business reforms carried out by India and its impact in making a robust industrial ecosystem across states.
Mr Joshi also praised Odisha for the investment promotion and facilitation initiatives taken by the state.
Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary, Industries Department, and Chairman-IDCO and Chairman-IPICOL, Government of Odisha, made a presentation about the industrial ecosystem in Odisha to the audience.
He highlighted the state’s over two decades of stable governance, the state’s position in the EoDB ranking, the competitive cost of doing business, the impact of investment facilitation, best-in-class incentives and highly skilled human resources, which gives the state a distinct competitive advantage over others.
Manoj Mishra, Principal Secretary, Electronics & IT Department, Government of Odisha spoke about the emerging IT/ITeS ecosystem in the state. He also highlighted the growth-focused and future-oriented IT Policy, Data Centre Policy, BPO Policy, and Electronics Policy brought in by the Government of Odisha to further strengthen the ESDM and IT/ITeS sector and attract new investments into the state.
Addressing the august gathering, Pratap Keshari Deb, Minister – Industries, MSME & Energy, Government of Odisha stressed that “Under the Hon’ble CM, the state government has taken a Whole-of-Government approach toward service delivery to citizens and businesses. We are today becoming a destination of choice for investors across the country. I would like to welcome all the Industry Captains, associations and their members present here to come and explore Odisha as your next investment destination.”
Addressing the esteemed guests, the Chief Minister, Odisha, extended his warmest of greetings to the dignitaries and stated, “Odisha is one of the fastest growing economies in India and has consistently grown above the national average in the last decade and a half. We are fast emerging as a major industrial destination in India because of our natural resource advantage and strategic location. Odisha’s abundant natural resources, skilled and productive human resources, progressive policies and strong result-oriented governance provide a unique ecosystem. Today, Odisha is ranked among the top states in India in terms of attracting investments and has been accorded the achievers status in the recently released ease of doing business ratings by the Government of India.”
Mr Patnaik highlighted how Odisha is becoming the fulcrum of trade and commerce in the Bay of Bengal region and the measures the Government of Odisha has undertaken to help industries looking to cater to the untapped markets in Eastern and North-Eastern India as well as markets in ASEAN and East Asia region.
Speaking about industrialization in this era of technological innovations, Mr Patnaik said, “As we enter into a new era of industrialization propelled by advancements in technology and a philosophy of sustainability, we require a collaborative effort between the governments, industries and people to ensure consistent growth.”
Concluding his address, the Chief Minister said “Odisha, a state known for its rich culture and tradition, is transforming into a modern industrial hub. While my government is focused on providing the best-in-class facilitation to all investors coming to Odisha, we are also deeply committed to protecting our rich cultural history. The renovation and restoration of Buddhist Pilgrimage Sites have been a key agenda of my Government. I am happy to say that we are transforming sites like Dhauli, Udaygiri, Ratnagiri and Lalitgiri. I request all my Japanese friends to visit Odisha and experience the change. Come, Invest in Odisha, Invest in the future. Come, Join the Juggernaut.”
The event was attended by more than 200 leading companies in Japan and the Indo-Pacific region who witnessed the offerings of the Government of Odisha and got an opportunity to explore various avenues of collaboration with the state government and local companies in Odisha.
The Odisha Business Meet 2023 at Tokyo ended on a successful note with the Government of Odisha receiving investment intents of over Rs 25,000 Crores (USD 3.04 Billion) in sectors like Logistics, Metal Ancillary, Steel, Metal Downstream, Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia, Green Energy Equipment Manufacturing and IT/ITeS. An MoU for collaboration in skill development sector was also signed between Nihon-Utkal (NITKAL) and IIIT, Bhubaneswar. The event also enabled trade and technology transfer-discussions between Odisha business delegation and Japanese companies.
During the day, Naveen Patnaik also met several senior industrialists across sectors for one-to-one meetings to discuss their plans for investments in India and presented the case for Odisha being the best investment destination for them.
During the discussions, Patnaik highlighted the major pro-business reforms undertaken by his Government and asked the Industrialists to explore Odisha as a potential destination for their businesses.
Patnaik and the state government delegation also held a meeting with the senior leadership of JICA and discussed various upcoming social-sector and infrastructure projects in Odisha. The JICA leadership reiterated their commitment to supporting infrastructure development in the state.
Some of the major investors who met the Chief Minister of Odisha for one-to-one G2B meetings were:
Sl No Company Name Representative
1 IHI Corporation Mr Hiroki Kobayashi, President & CEO
2 TYK Corporation Mr Ushigome, President & CEO
3 Price Waterhouse Coopers LLC Mr Koichiro Kimura, Chairman, Japan
4 Marubeni-Itochu Steel Inc. Mr M. Ishitani, President & CEO
5 Krosaki Harima Corporation Mr Masafumi Takeshita, Director on the Board and Managing Officer
6 ThyssenKrupp Mr Akita Sigeta, Director, Asia-Pacific
7 Toyo Engineering Mr Ponomarev Dmitry, Group Head
8 JGreen Power Private Limited Mr Hironobu Miyata, CMD
9 JFE Steel Corporation Mr Hiroyuki Ogawa, Nominee Director
10 Fujisoft Inc. Mr Renhong Sun, Chief Operating Officer
11 Nissin Foods Mr Michikoy Kakuchi, Chief Executive Officer
12 ICIJ Mr J S Chandrani, President and association members
Some key take-aways from the one-to-one G2B meetings between the Government of Odisha and major Japanese Investors include:
1. Odisha is well set to become the Steel Hub of the World. There is an increasing focus on developing Steel Service Centres along with the mega integrated steel plants coming up in the state. There is also an increasing focus on New Age Steel and the Government of Odisha ensures best-in-class facilitation and support to investors across the world.
2. Odisha is emerging as a pioneer in the Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia sector in India. As the Government of Odisha looks towards sustainability as a key tenet of economic development, vast opportunities are coming up in the Green Hydrogen and Green Ammonia sector and the Japanese investors are positive about Odisha’s prospects.
3. With direct flight connectivity from Bhubaneswar to Bangkok and Bhubaneswar to Singapore, Odisha is set to become the gateway to East and South-East Asia and more business opportunities are set to come up for investors across both India and Japan.