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50 delegates from 23 countries in Imphal for B20 Conference

Last Updated on February 18, 2023 by SPN Editor

Today, at the City Convention Centre here, a conference on Opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnerships in ICT, Tourism, Healthcare, and Handloom, or B20 conference in short, was held.

Addressing the gathering of G20 delegates, which included government officials and entrepreneurs, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren stated that the conference would be a great platform for the State to showcase its strengths and opportunities for multilateral business partnerships in various sectors, all against the backdrop of the State’s rich cultural heritage.

He went on to say that the B20 Conference would shape policies for long-term growth and development while ushering in peace and progress in accordance with the theme of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (One Earth, One Family, One Future).

The Chief Minister stated that Manipur, with a population of 2.72 million people and an area of over 22,300 square kilometers, is India’s land gateway to South East Asia, and that the state has the ideal setting for implementing India’s Act East Policy, and that the state serves as a bridge between South East Asia and India.

He stated that once the stretch of the Asian Highway within Myanmar is completed, road travel from Manipur to Bangkok will be possible in 16-18 hours.

International flights from Imphal to Mandalay in Myanmar and Bangkok in Thailand are being planned, he said, adding that Imphal International Airport will soon have a new integrated terminal and an air cargo terminal.

Train services would also reach Imphal City by next year.

He further highlighted that Manipur has been recognized as the Most Improved Small State in the Overall Category for three years in a row in the state of the States survey.

This has been facilitated by an improved security scenario.

B20 Conference  in Imphal
B20 Conference in Imphal.

Biren informed that the new Industrial and Investment Promotion Policy of Manipur has been adopted to promote investment in the State.

To promote ‘Ease of Doing Business’, the Manipur Industrial Single Window Clearance Act, 2021 was enacted.

Given the importance of logistics, the Manipur Integrated Logistics Policy, 2022 was notified, he said.

The Chief Minister continued that Manipur has a strong base of qualified healthcare professionals and specialists and that nurses from Manipur are in high demand across India.

Health institutes in the State not only cater to patients from neighboring States but also from neighboring Myanmar, presenting attractive investment opportunities in the area of medical tourism.

Manipur has huge tourism potential in the form of rich natural, historical, and cultural heritage and the State gave polo to the world, he added.

Manipur also has a strong sporting culture and offers scope for investment.

Despite a small population, the State has produced numerous successful sports persons including 19 Olympians.

The Government had been promoting the State as a preferred tourism destination and had come up with an investor-friendly Tourism Policy.

CM Biren informed the congregation at B20 Conference that Manipur has huge untapped potential in medicinal plants, horticultural products, aromatic plants and spices.

Local products like aromatic black rice, pineapple, oranges, ginger, etc are famous for their unique taste.

He continued that Manipur is blessed with a young and dynamic population.

50% of business registrations for MSME (Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises) in Manipur are for businesses owned by women, compared to about 20% in the rest of the country.

The biggest strength of the State is its English-speaking youth, adding that they have done extremely well in the services sector, including hospitality, nursing, customer care, computer skills, health & wellness, etc, Biren said.

He exuded confidence that the platform provided by the conference would go a long way to help explore investment and partnership opportunities and shape policies toward decisive action.

Delivering his speech at B20 Conference, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Dr RK Ranjan Singh stated that India, as a fast-growing Nation, is an intriguing market for overseas businesses and investors.

In recent years, India has seen a surge in economic growth and now ranks as the world’s fifth-largest economy by GDP.

He added that the North East Region has diverse potential to propel ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ by being the ‘Engines of Growth’ .

RK Ranjan informed the gathering that the availability of exportable resources coupled with the locational advantage offers the opportunity for medical tourism through Ayurvedic therapies and traditional medical treatments.

He added that Imphal has a population with a huge skills advantage which is artistic and creative by nature and this has found expression in their handloom and handicraft products, which are world-famous for their designs, ingenuity, colorfulness, and usefulness.

‘I am sure that the business community of my State and the North East will look forward to enhancing partnerships in sectors like Tourism, Hospitality, Healthcare, and Handloom, etc’, he said.

Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash, while addressing the gathering at B20 Conference, stated that as India holds the presidency of the G20, the country will make sure this presidency is “inclusive, ambitious, decisive and action-oriented” .

The world has been endeavoring to pave the way toward a global economic recovery and the success of this recovery will largely depend on the actions of businesses.

The G20 must provide a crucial forum for businesses to convene and collectively address key global issues with a unified voice, he added.

He expressed that India has a large and growing economy, a highly skilled workforce, and a rich cultural heritage that can serve as a bridge between different Nations and cultures and added that the country has a strong commitment to sustainable development.

The inaugural session of B20 Conference was followed by a plenary session, where topics including Investment Opportunities & Support Ecosystem for doing Business in Manipur, Opportunities in Core Sector, Healthcare & Medical Tourism, Tourism & Hospitality, ICT, Handlooms & Textiles would be deliberated. Representatives of G20 and other countries also addressed the plenary session.

The inaugural session of the B20 conference was attended by Chief Minister N Biren Singh, Union Minister of State for External Affairs Dr RK Ranjan Singh, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Som Parkash, Chief Secretary Dr Rajesh Kumar, Joint Secretary (Summits) G20 Secretariat, Government of India L Ramesh Babu, Commissioner, Industries, Textiles & Commerce Pradeep K Jha and Member, Confederation of Indian Industry Gopi K More, Ministers, MLAs and senior Government officials, among others.

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