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Odisha joins Northeast in outreach to Japan as CM Naveen Patnaik visits land of Rising Sun

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the Kimitsu Steel Works plant of Nippon Steel Corporation on Thursday (Image courtesy: Government of Odisha)

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has pitched the state as a fulcrum of trade and commerce in the Bay of Bengal region, reaching out to ASEAN and the East Asia region.

Patnaik, who is currently on a week-long visit to Japan, is promoting the ‘Make In Odisha’ initiative, showcasing the state’s conducive business environment and investment potential in different sectors.

His visit follows Japanese interest in the big potential Northeast India which Tokyo envisions should connect with Bangladeshi ports as part of their growth strategy.

A delegation from Odisha, consisting of select industries in the steel, aluminum, textiles, food and sea-food processing, green hydrogen and green ammonia sectors is also accompanying the CM to explore opportunities for collaboration with Japanese business houses.

Odisha government – in association with the Embassy of India in Tokyo, Japan External Trade Organisation and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) – hosted an ‘Odisha Business Meet Tokyo 2023′ on Wednesday where Patnaik spotlighted that the state has one of the fastest growing economies in India which has consistently grown above the national average in the last decade and a half. It was followed by an investors’ summit.

The events were attended by Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) Executive Vice President Kazuya Nakajo, Nippon Steel President Eiji Hashimoto, several top industrialists of Japan besides senior officers of the Industrial Promotion and Investment Corporation of Odisha Limited (IPICOL) and FICCI.

Patnaik stated that Odisha is fast emerging as a major industrial destination because of its natural resource advantage and strategic location.

“Abundant natural resources, skilled and productive human resources, progressive policies and strong result-oriented governance provide a unique ecosystem,” said the CM.

The meet ended on a successful note with Odisha receiving investment intents of over Rs 25,000 crore in sectors like logistics, metal ancillary, steel, metal downstream, green hydrogen and green ammonia, green energy equipment manufacturing and IT/ITeS.

Later, the CM and Hashimoto discussed the company’s plan to build one of the world’s largest steel plants in Odisha along with Arcelor Mittal. The 30 MT proposed mega plant will produce specialty steel and also give a huge boost to the socio-economic development of Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, Bhadrak, Jajpur and Kendujhar by generating thousands of jobs for youths of the states.

On Thursday, Patnaik visited the Kimitsu Steel Works factory of Nippon Steel Corporation (NSC) and highlighted the immense potential for collaboration with Odisha, given the state’s rich mineral resources and potential in the steel sector.

The mega steel plant in Odisha will not only bring a new wave of economic development and employment generation in Odisha but also boost Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of Aatmanirbhar Bharat and Purvodaya for driving the growth of eastern India.

The proposed plant is a culmination of the Indian government’s efforts towards bringing in investors for wealth creation and employment generation through supportive policy reforms such as the National Steel Policy as well as facilitative infrastructure.

The Ministry of Steel has maintained that the ArcelorMittal-Nippon mega steel plant in Kendrapada will benefit from massive infrastructure developments in the region over the past six years such as the expansion of Paradip port and setting up of Mahanadi riverine port, key freight and passenger rail corridors such as the Paradip-Haridaspur new line and fast-track construction of highways.

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