UAE investors have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth $2.76 billion (Rs218 billion/ Rs21,800 crores) with the Government of Odisha state, after meeting with the state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Dubai.



The investment by UAE business houses is a result of the government’s investment promotion drive aimed at creating awareness of Odisha’s key advantages – its natural and human resources as well as political stability that resulted in faster economic growth.



Patnaik has concluded a successful investment roadshow including an Investor’s Meet in Dubai when he and his delegation held meeting with some of UAE’s key business groups to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), involving Lulu Group, NBTC Group, Sharaf Group, Twenty Fourteen Holding and Tablez Group, ERAM Group, Sobha Group, Arab and India Spices LLC and Tabreed, etc.



Project proposals

The announcement comes after the state approved more than 250 large-scale industrial and infrastructure project proposals collectively worth $50 billion in sectors such as Metals and Metal downstream, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Textiles and Apparel including Technical Textiles, Food processing including Seafood processing, ESDM, Logistics and Clean Energy in the last two years.



The investment proposals include Rs1,500 crores investment by UAE-based multinational retail conglomerate, Lulu Group International which signed a MoU to explore investment opportunities in Odisha to set up Hypermarkets, shopping malls and agriculture and seafood sourcing and processing hubs in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and Rourkela.



The Investors Meet was jointly organised with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Embassy of India in UAE. It was attended by more than 150 companies based out of the UAE and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region from sectors comprising of Minerals and Metals processing, Petrochemicals, Chemicals, Plastics, Heavy Industries, Clean Energy, Food Processing including Sea Food Processing, Electrical Equipment and Electronics Manufacturing, Logistics and Warehousing, Real Estate, and Hospitality. Leading industry associations from the region including Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) also participated in the event.



Four key advantages

Inviting the UAE investors to Odisha State, Patnaik addressed the gathering underlining Odisha’s four key advantages – Mineral; Human Resources; Technology in delivering efficient and effective investment facilitation; Progressive policy and governance.



“Odisha offers great opportunity to foreign investors and our Team is ready to extend any help to facilitate investment to the UAE investors,” he said.



Highlighting the state’s rich mineral resources, he said, Odisha holds the lion’s share of India’s mineral reserves with 96% of the country’s chromite reserves, 92% nickel, 53% bauxite, 45% manganese, 35% iron-ore, and 23% coal reserves of India. This has made Odisha the largest producer of Steel, Stainless Steel, Ferro Alloys, Alumina, and Aluminium in India. Odisha also has 11% of India’s water resources. The state has a 480-km long coastline making it a natural choice for setting up ports, and for international trade.



The state is home to a large and highly skilled workforce. Highlighting Odisha’s human resource advantage, Patnaik said: “We have made good investments in setting up technical and professional institutes at all skill levels – ITIs, Polytechnics, and engineering and management colleges. Eleven of India’s top 100 Industrial training institutes are in Odisha. With the assistance of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Institute of Technical Education Services (ITEES), Singapore, the Government of Odisha has recently established the World Skill Centre in Bhubaneswar to prepare the Odia workforce for modern and new age Industry.”



Enabling technology

On Odisha’s use of enabling technology in delivering efficient and effective investment facilitation, he said, State’s Single Window portal for investors, GO SWIFT has transformed the B2G interface with its user-friendly features which provide time-bound clearances for over 50 G2B services. Odisha is also home to over 1200 start-ups, many of which are in the technology space.



Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, Chief Secretary of Odisha state and Hemant Sharma, Principal Secretary for Industrial Development of Odisha state highlighted the economic opportunities in key sectors.



The Investors Meet was addressed by the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, Sanjay Sudheer, who stressed on the significance of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), signed between the UAE and India – which reduces taxes and will help two-way trade and investment between India and the UAE to accelerate.



Make In Odisha 2022

The Chief Minister also announced that the State would be conducting the third edition of its flagship Global Investors Meet – “Make In Odisha 2022” during November 30-December 04, 2022 at the state capital Bhubaneswar, India.



The event would focus on sectors including Metals and Metal downstream, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Textiles and Apparel including Technical Textiles, Food processing including Seafood processing, ESDM, Logistics and Clean Energy.



The Chief Minister extended the invitation to businesses in the Mena region to attend the Make In Odisha 2022 Investor Meet and witness the opportunities the State offers.



B2G meetings

The team Odisha also conducted one-on-one B2G meetings with major companies of the region such as LuLu Group, NBTC Group, Sharaf Group, Twenty Fourteen Holding and Tablez Group, ERAM Group, Sobha Group, Arab and India Spices LLC, Tabreed, etc. The State Government invited them to explore Odisha in their future expansions and apprised them of the huge Indian and sub-continent market. The government also assured all the companies of unmatched facilitation and support.



The team Odisha also included a high-level business delegation from the top companies who have invested in Odisha. The business delegation included Parth Jindal - Managing Director, JSW Cement, Saroj Poddar - Chairman, Paradeep Phosphates Limited, Satish Pai - Managing Director, Hindalco, Dilip Oomen - CEO, AM/NS India, Rahul Sharma - CEO, Vedanta Ltd., Subhrakant Panda - Managing Director, IMFA, Sujoy Choudhury- Director, IOCL, Jagadish Naik - Chairman, and Managing Director, DN-Homes, Bhabatosh Sahoo, Managing Director, B-One Business House Pvt Ltd., Prashant Mallick - Managing Director, Tata Steel SEZ and Mr. Chanakya Chaudhary – Vice President, Tata Steel Ltd.



The Odisha Investors’ Meet was a platform for presenting the vast array of opportunities Odisha offers to businesses in the UAE and the Mena region. It has generated a huge interest among the business community as it is the first time that a state like Odisha which has received significant domestic investments has also reached out to UAE to attract FDI.-- TradeArabia News Service



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