Naveen woos biz captains to Odisha

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Chief minister Naveen Patnaik at the business meet in Mumbai on Wednesday. Telegraph picture

Mumbai: Chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday invited captains of Indian industries to visit the state and be part of its industrial “juggernaut”.

Naveen also urged industrialists to participate in the second edition of the Make in Odisha Conclave, a business event to be held from November 11 to 15 in Bhubaneswar. The first edition was held in 2016.

The state government, in association with industry body Ficci, conducted a roadshow here on Wednesday woo investors in the run-up to its November conclave.

Naveen also used his stay here to personally met industry giants including chairman and managing director, Reliance Industries Ltd, Mukesh Ambani, chief executive officer, Future Group, Kishore Biyani, Mahindra Group chairman Anand Mahindra and Godrej Group chairman Adi Godrej.

Incidentally, Naveen has extended invitation to the industrialists at a time when the state has slipped in the “ease of doing business” ranking.

Naveen’s roadshow, however, saw the participation of leading business honchos that included chief executive officer and managing director, Tata Steel, T.V. Narendran and vice-chairman and non-executive director, Hindalco, D. Bhattacharya among others.

Speaking to reporters after inaugurating the roadshow, Naveen said: “Odisha is fast emerging as a manufacturing hub of eastern India.

The state government will be organising the second edition of the Make in Odisha Conclave this year to showcase manufacturing prowess of the state and various investment opportunities.”

Earlier, addressing the investors he said that the strength of the state was in its vast resource base, long coastline, assured power and water supply, port driven development, strong road network and connectivity apart from a young and skilled workforce.

He said the first edition of the conclave had received good response with announcement of over Rs 2 lakh crore of investment intent.

Highlighting some of the development trends in Odisha, Naveen said that the state government had successfully launched Skilled in Odisha programme.

He went on to add that the state also had a vibrant start-up ecosystem and within a few months of launching the “Start-up in Odisha” initiative, close to 250 units had been registered there.

He expressed the optimism that Odisha would be among the top three start-up hubs of India by 2020.

Business leaders from various Companies participated in the roadshow to explore growth opportunities across Odisha’s focus sectors that included food processing and seafood, ancillary and downstream industries in metals sector, textiles, electronic system design and manufacturing, chemicals, plastics and petrochemicals and tourism, a press statement said.

Naveen said the state had seen a significant rise in attracting investments in the manufacturing sector with more than 118 large projects approved with an employment potential of 1,28,572 in the past four years alone.

Further, the average time taken for approval of projects has also reduced to 20 days from the date of receipt of the completed application, he said.

He also reminded investors that Bhubaneswar was ranked No. 1 in the smart city challenge conducted by the Centre in 2016.

Stating that Odisha had a huge potential to usher in a new industrial scenario, Naveen said: “Paradip is one of the largest and fastest growing ports in India. Dhamra is fast emerging to add strength to the port-led manufacturing base. Apart from these deep-water ports along the East Coast Economic Corridor, we have also approved the first riverine port project of Odisha to be set up on the Mahanadi in Kendrapara district with a cargo handling capacity of over 45 million tonnes per annum.”

Naveen said the state was developing a chain of 12 non-major ports along its coast to usher in unprecedented development in the region.

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