Bhubaneswar: Putting the Posco disaster on their back, South Korean industries have renewed their interest in investing in Odisha even as the state government rolled out a red carpet to attract investment from the fast east country. However, there is conspicuous absence of interest for the state’s steel sector.
A nine-member business delegation led by Ambassador of Republic of Korea Shin Bong Kil met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here Monday and evinced interest in investing in Odisha.
Senior executives from Korean companies like Samsung India, Hyundai Motor India, Kia Motors, Samsung Electronics, Hanwha Capital and organisations such as the Korea International Trade Association, the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation, the Korea Trade Investment Promotion Agency are visiting the state.
Welcoming the Korean envoy and the delegation, the Chief Minister said there are significant opportunities for both South Korea and Odisha to strengthen their ties in trade, investment and tourism.
The state has envisaged growth in six sectors such as electronics manufacturing, petroleum, chemicals and petro-chemicals, textiles, tourism and downstream metal and food processing sectors. The state government would provide conducive business environment, industry-ready infrastructure and skilled workforce, the CM said.
Naveen said the state government would soon promulgate a strategy document, Vision 2030, to ensure value-addition to 50 per cent of primary metals produced in the state.
“I feel there are significant opportunities to strengthen trade, investment and tourism exchanges between Korea and Odisha,” he added.
The Korean Ambassador appreciated the state government’s approach for investment and industrialisation. He said there were strong possibilities of investment in various sectors including agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and services.
Stating that Posco could not set up a plant in the state for various reasons, he said Korea would start a new relationship with Odisha.
Odisha Skill Development Authority (OSDA) chairman Subrato Bagchi spoke on the advantages that Odisha offers in skilled manpower. Bagchi said Odisha is setting up a world skill centre at a cost of USD200 million. It would provide skill training to 150,000 persons in eight streams.
Before meeting with the Chief Minister, a presentation was made to the Korean delegation in Korean language on the business opportunities in Odisha.
The delegation also paid a visit to the industrial estate of the state – Info Valley II, Khurda Industrial Estate. Further, they were shown the land which has been envisaged to be developed as the Korean industry cluster.
Notably, South Korean steel major Posco had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the state government in 2005 to set up a$12 billion steel plant at Jagatsinghpur. However, it shelved the plan following legal hurdles in getting mining blocks and opposition to land acquisition.