Kohima: The Plenary Session of the B20 Conference on Opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnership in Agriculture, Food Processing, Tourism and Information Technology was held at the State Banquet Hall in Kohima today with representatives from different countries, business communities, stakeholders taking part in the discussion.
Addressing the gathering, Financial Adviser, North Eastern Council, Gaigongdin Panmei said the inter-ministerial team was formed to improve foreign trade with the North Eastern region, and highlighted new industrial policy for the North East region.
Speaking on the energy sector, he stressed on the potentials of 5G technology, 3D printing, bamboo-ethanol, tissue culture nurseries, natural rubber, etc.
Agriculture Production Commissioner, R. Binchilo Thong spoke on Agriculture business potential in Nagaland, specifically mentioning turmeric, papaya, Naga king chilli, packaging materials, planting materials, small and customised machinery. While highlighting the agriculture demographics, he said about 73% of the population is engaged in agriculture and allied activities. He also stressed on activities that have gained popularity such as bee keeping, fish farming, sericulture, livestock rearing, etc.
Addressing the Agriculture & Food Processing, Executive Director, Godrej Agrovet Limited, Burjis Godrej highlighted the booming sustainable oil palm cultivation in the North East region and also the Government’s interest in investment for cultivation of oil palm. He also pointed out the need to have a nodal department for single point of contact for easy management, along the lines of Public Private Partnership.
Chairman, Echahaba Tea Growers Cooperative Society Limited, Dr. Aotoshi spoke on introducing prospective investors taking advantage of the G20 Summit. He expressed the view that farming in Nagaland is purely organic and above all, the ancient way of farming is natural in itself but unfortunate that Nagaland has failed to acquire organic certification.
Head Certification Business TQ Cert Service Private Limited, Krishna Datta briefed on TQ Cert &TQ Services and its initiatives in organic certification and Indgap certification.
Expressing his perspectives, CEO and Managing Director, CubeTen Technologies Private Limited, Haobam Joyremba highlighted the IT sector which can be applied in the field of agriculture, finance, education, tourism etc. He also spoke on the ‘Ethics of Artificial Intelligence.’
Founder and CEO, Resham Sutra Private Limited, Kunal Vaid speaking about the prospects in core sectors in industry perspective session textiles, said that his company is working on improving life and livelihoods of rural textile producers across the country and is building India’s largest farm. He said that silk textiles have existed in the North East region for more than 2500 years, and this opportunity is worth more than three billion dollars and an opportunity to create 200,000 new jobs. He added that his company is working with the vision of building local farm to fabric value things and to create a sustainable lifeboat and financial information.
Chapter Chairman, NE Association of Domestic Tour, Operations of India, Arijit Purkayastha said that tourism and hospitality sectors are a vital part of the global economy contributing substantially to job creations. In economic growth in recent years, there has been tremendous increase in joint venture partnerships. He said one of the important sectors in tourism is Film Tourism as it has huge potential, and highlighted the need to promote tourist destinations.
Commissioner & Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Kekhrievor Kevichusa, speaking on the Investment Opportunities and Support Ecosystem for doing Business in Nagaland, mentioned that Nagaland has many cottage industries based on handloom and handicraft. He elaborated on the roadmap towards industrial development in the State and support ecosystem in which the existing policies are Nagaland Start-up Policy, Nagaland Tourism Policy, Nagaland Bamboo Policy, Nagaland IT Policy and Nagaland Water Policy. He also mentioned about the policies which are under consideration like Nagaland Trade Investment And Industrial Policy, Nagaland State Logistics Policy, Nagaland State Land Bank Guidelines, Nagaland State Food Processing Industries Policy and Nagaland Public Service Delivery Guarantee Act. He said that Nagaland is biologically and culturally diverse, the agro and textile products reflecting this uniqueness. Nagaland is identified as a biological hotspot, so by investing in sectors such as agriculture, tourism, healthcare, education, infrastructure and sports, Nagaland can become a hub for economic activity and growth not just for the State but for the entire North East Region of India.
Expressing his pleasure on attending the B20 Business Meet, Ambassador, Cuba, Alejandro Simancas said that he has discovered the culture and traditions and witnessed the beauty of the landscape of Nagaland and also appreciated the hospitality of the State Government and its people. He said that the concept in his homeland ‘Cuba’ is humanity which he feels India also shares. Mentioning some sectors in economic relations, he considers India as an extra strategic partner for Cuba in the plan to change the energy markets like wind energy, solar energy and biomass energy. He also mentioned the bio pharmaceutical industry which is the most dynamic sector in the last 25 years. The Cuban Covid vaccine has been effectively applied not only in Cuba but also in many Latin American and Asian countries and even in Europe and Africa. He specified that Cuba would like to offer all the capacity in the field of medicine, education and sports.
Ambassador, Iceland, Gudni Bragason shed light on the areas where Iceland and Nagaland can partner in, such as clean energy, tourism, health sector and research and development.
High Commissioner, Jamaica, Jason Keats Mathew Hall while addressing the delegates of the G20 Business Meet, highlighted the successful business models of Jamaica and the investor friendly environment in his country. He emphasised on the tremendous potential of the coffee industry in Nagaland as well as the tourism industry, and said that Jamaica is open to collaborate with Nagaland in developing the tourism sector. He also explained the need to realise the importance in the link between agri industry and the tourism industry.
Ambassador and Consul General, Panama, Yasiel Burillo mentioned the similarities between Panama and Nagaland, and briefly spoke on how her country is devoted to sustainable development. She also mentioned the similarities with Nagaland when it comes to agricultural practices and the importance given to produce organic products, and expressed that Panama is open to the idea of having a cultural exchange with the people of Nagaland.
Congratulating the host, Nagaland for organising such a beautiful conclave, Ambassador, Paraguay, Fleming Raul Duarte said that there is a lot of similarities between the people of Paraguay and Nagaland when it came to the cultural practices and traditions. He also said that Paraguay is dedicated to promoting eco-tourism and extended a warm welcome to the people of Nagaland to visit Paraguay for a cultural exchange programme.
Consul General, Germany, Manfred Auster speaking at the B20 Meet, acknowledged the ongoing political issue in Nagaland and said that the rule of law must prevail at the end in order to ensure a long lasting solution to any conflict. He also commented that sustainability is the key to all business endeavours and acknowledged the rich biodiversity of Nagaland. He further added that Nagaland has huge potential in the tourism and textile industry, and expressed hope that the G20 nations would seriously view the business opportunities in the State and act upon it.
President, India Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Matlub Ahmad suggested the State to set up a Task Force for ensuring fast development of trade, investment and connectivity for trade between Nagaland and Bangladesh. He stated that the development of Matarbari deep sea port in Bangladesh offers Nagaland with opportunity to export their agricultural goods and other products. He highlighted some immediate doables between Bangladesh and Nagaland in the field of herbal medicines, trade in spices, and also Naga coffee which he added is very good and offered to set up a Naga Coffee parlour in Bangladesh. Other areas where he suggested that they can partner in tourism, the bamboo sector and setting up of readymade garment industry in Nagaland with the help of Bangladesh, which is the second largest producer in the world at present.
Advisor, Industries & Commerce, Hekani Jakhalu Kense delivering the concluding remarks, said that much more needs to be done to fully utilize Nagaland’s potential in various sectors. She summarised the areas where Nagaland can offer the business community to invest in the State such as agri & allied sector, tourism, handicrafts and handlooms, human resources, IT, sports and music, etc.