India is world’s fastest growing economy Odisha London conference hears

India is world’s fastest growing economy Odisha London conference hears

DYNAMIC corporate federalism is reshaping India, it was claimed at a major London conference highlighting the achievements of the Indian state of Odisha (Orissa), which is a powerhouse of traditional and new industries.
The Odisha New Opportunities event, held at the Taj St James Court Hotel, in London, featured a keynote speech by the Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Dr Virander Paul, and he was accompanied by leading businessmen and politicians from the state.
Dr Viranda Paul said: “Having Indian states thinking globally is part of the larger economic imagination of India, especially regarding the UK. More and more people in India believe in the goodness of these ties between our two nations.
“The Indian Prime Minister’s recent visit to the UK was a big message to confirm this. He addressed top company chief executives in Westminster Hall, inviting them to invest in India. The India UK CEOs Forum has also been devised.
“While globally we are going through a time of uncertainty, with much stagnation elsewhere, India has been the fastest growing economy in the world for the last four years, with a 7.4 per cent increase in GDP. India’s inflation is down, foreign investment is up by 40 per cent and the Rupee is stable.”
Odisha is performing extremely well in the new era of the Indian government’s initiatives to ease restrictions on businesses and foreign investment, in what was described as a very pragmatic manner, by Kevin McCole, chief operating officer of the UK India Business Council.
“Different technologies and industries are now working very well together and local business is echoing what it was told by the state government – and there can be no stronger advocate for it being the reality. Odisha is rated India’s seventh best state for ease of business out of 29 states,” said Mr McCole.
“UK businesses have a host of choices of where to do business in and out of the UK and companies invest overseas to be near their markets – and Odisha has got plenty of markets.”
The State of Odisha’s First Minister Shri Nareen Patnaik said in a video message to the conference: “We have created one of the best enabling business environments in India.”
Debi Prasad Mishra, Odisha State Government Minister of Industries, said: “The UK is the biggest investor in India out of the G8 countries and Odisha is open for UK business and investment. We are rapidly developing our infrastructure, power supplies, water and sanitation.
“Our efforts to do away with trading restrictions and improve ease of business have surpassed other more established states, for example the creation of a 100,000 acre land bank. The possibilities for IT and manufacturing are quite large.”
DS Ravindra Raju, Odisha State councillor and director of Paradeep Phosphates, said: “We have a very clear framework announced by our prime minister. We must explore government to government and business to business opportunities.
“We’re getting government help to industrialise with start-ups and we have so much to offer. Just look at our range of sectors: engineering, textiles and IT and mining.”
Odisha is India’s 11th most populated state with 42m inhabitants and is the self-styled gateway to the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) region. It has some of India’s most prolific mineral deposits including coal, bauxite, chrinite, graphite, manganese and iron ore.
Sanjeev Chopra, principal secretary to the Government of Odisha and Chairman of the Infrastructure Development Corporation, said: “Odisha contributed the word juggernaut to the English language and let’s hope that this seminar will set in motion a new juggernaut of relations between the UK and Odisha.
“The state has 106 industrial parks dedicated to sectors such as aluminium production, plastic making and food processing. We are the knowledge hub of the east and produce 1.26m technical graduates a year from 773 technical training institutes.
“We’ve introduced fiscal and non-fiscal incentives, with land and infrastructure support and employment – based incentives. Project approvals are now 15 days for green category industries and 30 days for others. We have a ‘one-stop’ facility for project approvals and official ‘hand-holding’ for start-ups.
“The Odisha Industrial Development Plan wants us to emerge as the leader in manufacturing, investment and new jobs. Our new Info-Valley town is being created in a strategic partnership with TiE Silicon Valley, in the US, the only state in India with this tie-up.”

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