New Delhi, March 20: Sikkim hosted the B20 conference on ‘Opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnerships in Tourism, Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals & Organic Farming’ at Chintan Bhawan, Gangtok.

The B20 is a parallel G20 event which is the official dialogue forum with the global business community. The B20 Summit in the capital witnessed the convergence of a host of delegates from 26 nations, including over 52 overseas and 50 Indian representatives, along with representatives of the State government and local business participants.

The inaugural session was attended by Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang. He was accompanied by Chief Secretary, Government of Sikkim, Shri V.B. Pathak, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission & Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, Government of India, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Joint Secretary (Economic Diplomacy), Ministry of External Affairs, GoI, Noor Rahman Sheikh, Joint Secretary (G20-11), G20 Secretariat, GoI, Ashish Kumar Sinha, Principal Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, GoI, Rupa Dutta, and Secretary, IPR Department, Government of Sikkim, Namrata Thapa, on the dais.

Addressing the gathering, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang warmly welcomed the distinguished B20 delegates from various G20 nations to the Green State of India. On behalf of the people of Sikkim, he congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for assuming the prestigious and challenging responsibility of the G20 Presidency.

He also thanked the Prime Minister for providing Sikkim the opportunity to host two G20 engagement meetings and extended gratitude to the President of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Chief Coordinator of India’s G20 Secretariat for handholding and facilitating the B20 conference on “Opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnerships in Tourism, Hospitality, Pharmaceutical and Organic Farming,” a theme that strongly resonates with what Sikkim stands for.

Highlighting the key sectors for potential investment partnerships in Sikkim, Chief Minister Tamang delved into the State’s Unique Selling Point of organic farming and stressed the need for value additions and processing facilities within the State and creating an organic niche in cardamom, ginger, turmeric, chillies, buckwheat, millets, tea and traditional medicinal herbs among others.

He said there is a dire need for green technology, market connectivity for marginal farmers, and building capacities among the new generation of farmers to train them on newer organic farming methods. There is a need for disciplinary institutions that deal with training research and experimentations, productivity enhancement processing, marketing, and making other sectors follow the organic culture as well, he added.

CM Prem Singh Tamang sought the support of the delegates in investing in these areas to consolidate and sustain organic farming and spread the concept of this good initiative to other regions of India and abroad.

Speaking about the investment potential in the pharmaceutical sector of the State, he said that Sikkim has over 55 pharmaceutical units that represent some of the most widely known companies in India. He further shared that the State government plans to commercially establish horizontal and vertical integration of rich traditional medicinal systems with the global market. He added that investing in the naturopathy business would do wonders for India and the international community.

He also threw light on climate change-related activities that include green energy, small and mini hydro projects, zero carbon ventures, IT and IT-enabled services, disaster forecast and management, climate change resistance agriculture, information and digital handling, among others that would not incur huge investments and could be mostly managed as micro, small and medium enterprises.

The Chief Minister also spoke on other areas of investments and business opportunities like waste management, food processing, handicraft and cottage industries, infrastructure, real estate, fashion designing, films, and textile designs.

As he concluded his speech, Shri Tamang stated that Sikkim is a core constituent of the Nation that promotes the globalisation of locals, including indigenous knowledge, development practices, gender equality, community partnership, and zero carbon – climate conservation experimentation.

“The globalization process has been just one way so far, localization of globals. We want to reverse this process,” said Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang.

Earlier, the inaugural session commenced with the welcome remarks by Member, CII North East Council, Pradeep Purohit, which was followed by addresses delivered by Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission & Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Joint Secretary (Economic Diplomacy), Ministry of External Affairs, Noor Rahman Sheikh, Joint Secretary (G20-11), G20 Secretariat, Ashish Kumar Sinha, and Principal Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Reap Dutta.

The session was also addressed by Chief Secretary V.B. Pathak, wherein he touched upon key areas of focus for multilateral business opportunities in the State of Sikkim.

The plenary session in the afternoon commenced with the opening remarks by Secretary of Commerce & Industries Department, Government of Sikkim, Karma R. Bonpo, wherein he gave an in-depth report on Industrial development and investment opportunities in Sikkim.

Thereafter, Additional Chief Secretary, Tourism & Civil Aviation Department, Government of Sikkim, M.L. Srivastava, and General Secretary, Homestay Association of Sikkim, Pintso Gyatso, touched upon the prominent potential of Sikkim to be a global tourism destination and urged for forging partnerships in this regard.

Chief Executive Officer, Sikkim Organic Farming Development Agency, Department of Agriculture, GoS, Dr. S. Anbalagan, gave a brief presentation on the organic farming scenario in the State.

Subsequently, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, India Regulatory Affairs & Corporate Social Responsibility, Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Dr. A.H. Khan, Group Vice President & Head – Corporate Affairs, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd., Anurag Khera, Co-Founder, and Chief Executive Officer, Vedancure Healthcare LLP, Dr. Manuj Mittal, and Area Director – North East, Kathmandu, Bhutan & Darjeeling & General Manager – Vivanta Guwahati, The Indian Hotels Company Limited, Jayanta Das, gave short presentations and shared their experiences about the prospects in the core sectors of pharmaceuticals, tourism and hospitality from an industry perspective.

After presentations on subjects related to core sectors, the representatives of the G20 countries were invited for remarks. An interaction session with the participants followed this.

Sikkim is the only north-eastern state to be selected to host two separate events under India’s G20 Presidency; the B20 on March 16 and Startup20 on March 18-19, 2023.

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