Gangtok, March 17 (IPR): Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang convened a press conference here at Chintan Bhawan today concerning the turn-out of the B20 session, organized as a part of the G20 Summit in Sikkim on 16 March 2023.
The Chief Minister was accompanied by Minister of Information and Public Relations, Shri B.S. Panth, Chief Secretary, Shri V.B. Pathak, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation, Shri M.L. Srivastava, IPR Secretary Ms. Namrata Thapa, Agriculture Secretary, Shri J.D. Bhutia, Commerce & Industries Secretary, Shri Karma R. Bonpo, Chief Executive Officer, Sikkim Organic Farming Development Agency, Dr. S. Anbalagan, and representative of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Brigadier Ashis Bhattacharyya.
Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Shri Prem Singh Tamang congratulated the CII and team for the successful facilitation of the B20 conference on “Opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnerships in Tourism, Hospitality, Pharmaceutical and Organic Farming” and extended gratitude to the press and media fraternity for providing wide publicity of the event. He remarked that Sikkim has received positive responses from foreign delegates who participated in the B20 session held as part of the G20 Summit.
He said that positive deliberations of the conference have raised the investment prospects for the State of Sikkim, with investors showing interest in investing around Rs 1000 crores in Sikkim in various sectors. He stated that the State government would immediately start efficiently implementing investor-friendly policies that would benefit the State stakeholders and the investors.
He further conveyed that the B20 delegates were deeply impressed by the hospitality of the people of Sikkim and shared their thoughts of visiting the State again to foster global connection and build up the confidence of further cooperation. He expressed confidence that the overwhelming interest of the investors in Sikkim shall be very fruitful for the State in the long run.
Chief Secretary Shri V.B. Pathak, in his address, informed that twelve G20 nations participated in the B20 summit held at Chintan Bhawan on 16 March, with one guest G20 country and nine other guest countries.
Among the delegates were four Ambassadors, four Deputy Head of Missions and two Council Generals. A total of 43 delegates were present for the event along with 50 Indian business and multilateral organizations and over 100 participants representing the State government, Pharmaceuticals and entrepreneurs, he added.
Shri Pathak said that the State has received high interest from investors in investing over 1000 crore in sectors like IT & ITeS, infrastructure, renewable energy, microbrewery, skill development, education, agri-processing, organic farming, forest products, hospitality sector and others. The investors include major organizations like In Tandem Global Consulting, iZIP Autos Private Limited, Welco Distillery Private Limited and STC Overseas Education, among others, he added.
He informed that Costa Rica, with 95% dependency on hydropower, has shown interest in collaborating with Sikkim. While Norway has indicated an interest in small hydro and tunneling activities in Sikkim with disaster mitigation efforts, and Sweden has expressed interest in supporting the education sector of the State.
Likewise, UAE has shown interest in promoting Renewable City in Gangtok, with Iceland backing the same idea with a slope stabilization proposal, Shri Pathak informed.
He further informed that the World Bank will invest in village infrastructure for connecting the Siliguri corridor with better infrastructure with regards to Sikkim, with a major focus on road development and alternative modes of transportation. He said that the neighboring countries of Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh have shown keen interest in international air connectivity with Pakyong and Bagdogra.
Secretary, Agriculture Department, Shri J.D. Bhutia, informed that Switzerland has shown keen interest in the organic products of Sikkim owing to its huge market potential in Europe and US. He added that residual content testing labs would be set up across the six districts of the State to ensure that products match the quality standards of these markets. He further stated that there is a need to increase the volume of organic production to meet export demand.
CII representative Brigadier Ashis Bhattacharyya also addressed the meeting, wherein he thanked the State government for the support and coordination extended for the successful completion of the B20 event. He shared his pleasant experience of the unique State of Sikkim and commended the grandeur and hospitality of the people of Sikkim.
It may be mentioned here Sikkim will be hosting the second meeting of the Startup20 Engagement group, newly formed under India’s G20 Presidency, on the 18th and 19th of March, 2023. The conference will have delegates from G20 members and invitee countries, representatives from multilateral organizations, and stakeholders from the Indian startup ecosystem and local startups.
Secretary, IPR, Ms. Namrata Thapa, proposed the vote of thanks to conclude the press meeting.