WTC Bhubaneswar observes first World Trade Day in Odisha

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World Trade Centre Bhubaneswar observed the first World Trade Day here in Bhubaneswar. The event was part of the numerous initiatives taken by the Centre to assist local entrepreneurs foray in the global markets and enhance the competitiveness of the State of Odisha.

Chief Guest to the occasion Shri. R. Balakrishnan, IAS Development Commissioner cum Additional Chief Secretary to the Government of Odisha while addressing the august gathering highlighted the tremendous potentials of the state in various sectors and also shared as to how the trade and commerce of Odisha has emerged over the years to markits own distinctive place. While praising the entrepreneurs he lauded the state government for its bold decision making bringing in convergence among various departments for quick and effective actions to be taken in favour of the industry and MSMEs. “Convergence is set as a theme for governance in the state” he added. While encouraging the entrepreneurs to leverage the existing potentials of the state he indicated how Odisha is emerging as a location for advanced learning and developing as a knowledge capital of the country.

Addressing the delegates Mr. L.N. Gupta, IAS, Principal Secretary to the Department of MSMEs Government of Odisha praised and thanked the MSMEs for the achievement in exports by the state which has increased 100% over the last year. He also shared that the department would soon present the policy and infrastructure framework for exporters in the new export policy.

Mr. Sanjay Singh, IAS, Chairman cum Managing Director, IDCO shared with delegates various infrastructural initiatives taken by the state government. “We are aggressively working in setting up a seafood park as well as a plastic park” he added. He also highlighted on the initiatives of setting up a National manufacturing zone, economic zone and coastal economic corridor.

Dr.PankajJha, key speaker for the day spoke on the theme of “Defining the future Road Map for India-ASEAN Economic Relations – Role of Odisha”. “Graduating from the personal level to the national level, Southeast Asia has adopted and assimilated the philosophy and the culture and traditions of the Indic civilization, the remnants of which can still be seen in Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand and more particularly in the Indonesian island of Bali” he said. “Odisha can benefit from two basic elements in the action plan which is Mining and Natural Resources Management and Science, Technology and Innovation” he added. He emphasised that the sectors which can be viably explored include pharmaceuticals, fisheries, energy, technological development, transport connectivity, tourism, agriculture products and human resource development. He also stated that regions such as India’s northeast have reclaimed their place in India’s Act East Policy, Odisha need to work towards regaining it centrality in interacting with ASEAN.  He ended his highly informative deliverable by saying that “one aspect which has not been much explored has been the maritime tourism and cruises to Southeast Asia. Let’s reinvent the Bali Yatra once again”

On this occasion World Trade Centre Bhubaneswar also hosted its annual members meet and recognized the outstanding contributions of MSMEs, small businesses, companies and businesses that have excelled in penetrating international markets by presenting them with awards under four categories namely Small Business Global Trade Award, MSME Export Achievement Award, Business Leadership Award and Innovative Enterprises Award. The awards were presented by the guests to the selected members of the center.

Earlier in his welcome address Director of the Centre Mr. Y.R. Warerkar, stated that the aim of this event is to promote collaboration between the business community in Odisha and their counterparts in the 10-member ASEAN countries. “World Trade Day is celebrated by World Trade Centers across the globe to signify the importance of international trade for regional economic development. The first World Trade Day in Odisha has rightly focused on India-ASEAN economic co-operation given that the year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the ASEAN-India Dialogue Partnership” he added.

Ms. Rupa Naik, Director [Projects], World Trade Centre Mumbai, proposed the vote of thanks to the dignitaries and the delegates.She also sought active support and assistance of all the stakeholders for developing an export portal for the state, along with open house discussions every quarter, encouragement of women entrepreneurs through She Trades and training programs on international trade to be facilitated by WTC Bhubaneswar.