Britain sees tremendous business potential in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: With a target to double trade with India to 23 billion pounds by 2015, Britain today said there is tremendous potential for expanding business in Odisha in areas like infrastructure, mining and advanced engineering.

“The two countries are on course to meet the target set in 2010 by the Indian and UK Prime Ministers of doubling trade by 2015 to 23 billion pound,” said British Deputy High Commissioner to Eastern India, Scott Furssedonn-Wood while addressing a seminar on “UK and Odisha in Partnership” .

British High Commissioner to India, Sir James Bevan, is also here coinciding with the major business event in a bid to strengthen bilateral co-operation.

“Odisha is a state where things are happening. It?s a state where good governance is delivering real results, and where the huge potential of its natural and human resources is – more and more – being realised. I see here examples of world class excellence, in medicine, research, business, education, creative arts,” Bevan said in a statement during his visit.

While there is active engagement between Odisha and UK, the focus areas identified for the seminar included infrastructure, education and skills, advanced engineering, environment, water, and mining.

The UK is now the third largest investor in India, India is now the 5th largest investor in the UK.

Mentioning that this is the largest UK Business delegation to visit Odisha, Furssedonn-Wood hoped the visiting UK companies and their Odisha counterparts would find mutually profitable business opportunities.

“Things are happening in Odisha. The state has had its share of challenges but there is now a real sense of energy and optimism here. The Government of Odisha has some exciting plans, particularly in the advanced engineering, mining and infrastructure sector and in skills and education,” he said.

There are some world-class British companies with tremendous experience and expertise in those sectors who can play a part in making Odisha’s future bright, he said.

Meenakshi Nath, Deputy Head of DFID in India, highlighted DFID’s work in Odisha.

“Odisha is one of DFID’s focal states where we have worked largely with government to improve social services using financial and technical aid,” she said.