Bhubaneswar– Union Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday discussed prospects of Japanese investment in the steel sector and downstream development in the state with Japanese Ambassador Satoshi Suzuki.

Pradhan and Suzuki met Patnaik to discuss development of a steel cluster in the state.

“Japanese investments and technology flow into Odisha will strengthen the steel sector, generate large scale employment and create win-win situation for all stakeholders,” said Pradhan.

More than 75 per cent of India’s envisioned incremental steel capacity will come from eastern India with Odisha alone crossing 100 MTPA, he said, adding that there is immense scope for growth in high grade steel, downstream sector, ancillaries, capital goods and cluster development.

“Japanese technological expertise and investments will further strengthen the steel sector in Odisha and drive socio-economic growth,” he said.

Patnaik said the state government is now focusing on encouraging value addition in steel and stainless steel so as to achieve at least 50 per cent value addition by 2030.

In this context, he proposed Japanese investment in the sectors such as automobiles, food processing, chemicals and petro-chemicals.

He also made an offer for an exclusive Japan Industrial cluster and township near Bhubaneswar for which the state government would provide all the necessary facilitation.

The Chief Minister urged Suzuki to consider making Japan the country partner for Make In Odisha Conclave 2020 also.

Japan had been the country partner for Make In Odisha Conclave 2018.

The Chief Minister expressed hope for wider and deeper engagement between Odisha and Japanese industries in the coming years.

Union Additional Secretary, Steel, Rasika Chaubey, gave a presentation about the new initiative called Purvodaya, which aims to drive accelerated development of eastern India through establishment of integrated steel hubs in eastern states for which Odisha has the best potential.

Pradhan said: “Mission Purvodaya in the steel sector envisions creating an integrated steel hub in eastern India. With abundance of raw material, strategic location and strong and developing connectivity, Odisha is well-poised to be the heart of this eastern steel hub.” (IANS)