**Bhubaneswar:** While it was all about industry and investment at the Make in Odisha 2018 conclave, the business magnates and delegates did not miss out an opportunity to learn about the rich culture and heritage of Odisha.
Japanese Ambassador to India, Kenji Hiramatsu met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the State Secretariat on the sidelines of the conclave. Naveen greeted Hiramatsu with the emblem of Odisha, the Konark Chakra, made of silver.
The two leaders had a discussion over strengthening the ties between Japan and Odisha. Among others, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Development Commissioner R Balakrishnan and delegates from Japan were present.
Earlier in the day, at the Make in Odisha conclave, Hiramatsu, said, “We appreciate the interest of Odisha to work with Japan and showcasing their warm welcome towards Japanese organizations. Many state missions from Odisha have visited Japan and highlighted the opportunities which state has to offer to the Japanese companies. We are looking forward to expanding our partnerships Odisha and we can work on several sectors to boost a collaborative business effort. Odisha can also assist Japan to fil up some gaps in certain industries such as seafood industry, how Japan can get sufficient amount of prawns for Japanese consumers as Odisha is one of the prime exporters.”
The Japan Seminar was attended by key dignitaries, which included senior officials from the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA), Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in India (JCCI), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Marubeni, JFESteel, Nissin Food, Mitsui and Takahata Precision.
Balakrishnan, welcoming the Japanese delegation said, “Just like Japan is the eastern gateway to Asia, Odisha is the eastern gateway to India. Our state is in state of advance discussions with the Japanese industries who wish to invest in Odisha and we have developed state-of-the-art infrastructure for the Japanese organizations to set up their establishments in Odisha. We have identified 665 acres of land for the Japanese organization to setup their business infrastructure in Odisha, which is just 20 kms from Bhubaneswar. We also thank the Japanese delegation members who have come to this summit and extended their support for the development of Odisha.”
There were two panel discussions, which were presided by various participants representing Japanese organizations. The first panel discussion was about experiences of Japanese organization in Odisha. The panel discussion was presided by Gautam Sharma, MD, Indo Nissin Foods Pvt. Ltd.; Sanjay Mundley, Senior Vice President-Business Development, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Pvt.Ltd.; Shiho Sakaguchi, Research & Business Development, Anew Holdings and Yoshiomi Yoshino, Senior Representative,Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The panelists spoke of great skill force available for food processing sector; the richness of natural resources, water resources and aspiring women workforce for agricultural businesses.
Yoshiomi Yoshino, Senior Representative, JICA said, “In Odisha, till date, JICA has assisted 13 projects in the fields of Water and Sanitation, Agriculture, Power and Forestry. Altogether JICA has provided an Official Development Assistance(ODA) loan assistance, which amounts for 160 bilion Japanese Yen (approximately Rs 9,200 crores) for the development of various sectors in Odisha. JICA’s support to the power sector for substations and transmission lines across Odisha has enhanced the stability of power system and reliability of power supply and reduce transmission loss in the state. In the agriculture sector, JICA has helped increase the production of agriculture and improve the living standard of farmers through the Rengali Irigation Project. JICA’s assistance to the Forestry sector in Odisha has enhanced forest eco-system alongwith sustainable livelihood of local people by improving sustainable forest management. JICA has also assisted to improve sanitation and rain water drainage facilities in Bhubaneshwar and Cutack. JICA has also deployed a young Japanese volunteer in Bhubaneswar as a special coach for rugby so as to enhance people to people exchange for deeper mutual understanding.”