The fourth G20 Business meet in Northeast India which opened in Kohima on Wednesday witnessed the participation of 60 delegates from 27 countries. The other B20 Conferences in Northeast India were held in Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim recently.
The G20 Business Meet in NE India focuses on "opportunities for multilateral business partnership in agriculture, food processing, tourism and information technology". Central and state government officials, business communities, local entrepreneurs and stakeholders also attended the B20 Conference held at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima.
Delivering the welcome address, Chairman, CII, North East Council, Pradeep Bagla expressed the hope that the B20 Conference in Kohima will set a new benchmark.
Addressing the gathering, Principal Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Trade (DPIIT), Government of India, Rupa Dutta explained that DPIIT which looks at promotion of industries and internal trade, has two engagement groups - the B20 and Start-Up 20.
Pointing out that GI initiative, which is also part of DPIIT, has given tags to three farm products - the Naga mirchi, the Naga tree tomato and the Naga sweet cucumber, she said that the government is also taking steps to promote organic farming in the state.
Another key initiative of DPIIT is ‘One District, One Product, under which 11 districts of Nagaland have been selected. She said the government has launched Mission Organic Value Chain Development for the Northeast region, which aims at development of certified organic production in a value chain mode, and this can promote social entrepreneurship and start-ups.
Rupa also said that Nagaland has not only immense agro resources, but with a positive and progressing population available, Nagaland has good future potential in skill development, an area where the start-ups can do a lot of good work.
Delivering the keynote address, Minister of State, External Affairs Ministry Dr Rajkumar Ranjan Singh said that the hosting of B20 event in Kohima is an outcome of Prime Minister’s vision that through India’s G20 presidency, India in all its glory should be showcased to the world. He highlighted initiatives like the Prime Minister Development Initiative for North East Region (PM-DevINE).
Dr Ranjan Singh then expressed confidence that Northeast will become India’s gateway to South East Asia and it will have seamless land connectivity with the heart of ASEAN and beyond once the India-Myanmar-Thailand trilateral highway is completed. He also stated that the Government is continuously working for seamless land and rail connectivity with Bangladesh.
Pitching North East India to the business community to invest in, Dr Singh stated that NE can be seen as a potentially dynamic region of the world, surrounded by ASEAN, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, with the youth from Northeast playing critical roles in hospitality and caregiving sectors across India.
With its rich human resource base, he said that NE can grow their business in NE and beyond, offering immense and relatively unexplored market opportunities.
Welcoming all the delegates and the participants, Chief Minister of Nagaland, Neiphiu Rio pointed out the great investment opportunities in the agriculture and allied sectors of the state, and urged everyone to consider exploring the immense possibilities in this sector.
He also briefed on the huge potential for the tourism industry, especially for those desiring a unique ‘out of the box’ experience.
Rio said that, with a persistent zeal for learning new skills, coupled with the wide usage of the English language, the state’s relatively young work force and a higher literacy rate than the national average, the state has an advantage especially in the services sector, and appealed to all to consider investing in this sector.
Neiphiu Rio then stated that over the past two decades, the state has opened up to the world, and it now offers huge untapped potential in several areas of trade and services to the outside world. Due to the lack of industrialisation in the past, there are large unexploited and unexplored natural resources available in the state, which provides tremendous opportunities especially for those who come early.
Rio assured that the state is fully geared up to put in place all the requisite systems and the enabling policy frameworks for ensuring a robust exchange of investment and business opportunities and facilitating a rapid and sustained industrial development in the state.
The chief minister invited all to experience and savour the unique culture, customs and traditions of the Nagas, while also exploring business opportunities in several promising sectors and industries.
G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation, which plays an important role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues. India holds the Presidency of the G20 from December 1, 2022 to November 30, 2023. The Business 20 (B20) is a group that represents the private sector within the Group of 20 (G20) Forum, to provide a platform for the business community to engage with the G20 and to offer recommendations on policies that can support global economic growth and development. Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is designated by the Government of India as the Secretariat for B20 under its presidency of G20 Forum.
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the state government, the External Affairs Ministry and the Department for Promotion of Industry and Trade (DPIIT) are partners in this B20 Conference in Kohima.
The G20 comprises 19 countries namely Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Türkiye, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.