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Indian Chamber of Commerce Hosts Bihar Business Connect 2024 in Kolkata

Indian Chamber of Commerce Hosts Bihar Business Connect 2024 in KolkataKolkata, 02nd July 2024: Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) hosted Bihar Business Connect 2024, a global investors’ summit along with Kolkata Investors’ Meet at the Taj Bengal in the city on Monday, 1st July 2024. The investors’ roadshow centred on business and investment opportunities in the state of Bihar. The event was attended by eminent personalities such as Shri Nitish Mishra, Hon’ble Minister In-Charge, Department of Industries, Govt. of Bihar; Shri Abhay Kumar Singh, IAS, Secretary, Tourism Department & Information Technology Department, Govt. of Bihar; Shri Sandeep Poundrik, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Industries, Govt. of Bihar; Mr Ameya Prabhu, President, Indian Chamber of Commerce; Dr Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce; Mr Amit Saraogi, Anmol Feeds; and Mr Tushar Jain, Priority Bags.

Shri Nitish Mishra, Hon’ble Minister In-Charge, Department of Industries, Govt. of Bihar, stated, “I belong to the era of the 90s when we migrated to metropolitan cities for work. Today, I wish to return and develop opportunities within our state. Bihar’s success and growth are often clouded by preconceived notions, but this is no longer the case. We are working to change these outdated perceptions. Despite a century-long connection with ICT, Bihar has suffered from a wrong perception. When people ask why they should invest in Bihar, I respond, ‘Why not Bihar?’ Bihar epitomises ease of doing business. The eastern region is set to be the fastest-growing sector in the coming years. Bodh Gaya offers significant opportunities, holding roots for many religions.”

While presenting on investment opportunity in IT, ITeS & ESDM Sector in Bihar, Shri Abhay Kumar Singh, IAS, Secretary, Tourism Department & Information Technology Department, Govt. of Bihar, stated, “In Bihar’s Tourism Sector, we’re focused on enhancing Spiritual, Cultural and Eco-tourism across key locations like Gaya, Bodh Gaya, Nalanda, Rajgir, Vaishali and Valmiki Tiger Reserve. To support investors, we’re offering a 30% subsidy (up from 25%) for projects including resorts, hotels, theme parks, entertainment zones, thematic restaurants, Golf courses and floatels. Investments up to 50% receive subsidies up to 10 crores and those above 50% can get up to 25 crores. Investors can choose between two subsidy options: 50% at project start, 25% after two years of operation and the final 25% at the fifth year or opt for a phased subsidy route. MICE tourism and rural/village tourism are also key focuses, supported by dedicated assets and tour operators. Our goal is to expand the tourism ecosystem and drive economic growth. Additionally, our IT sector policy offers subsidies for both establishing and operating offices, aimed at fostering IT growth in Bihar.”

While presenting the investment opportunities in Bihar, Shri Sandeep Poundrik, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Industries, Govt. of Bihar, explained, “Selling Bihar as an investment destination is challenging but I want to clarify that many preconceived notions are incorrect. To all potential investors, I urge you to visit Bihar and witness the progressive changes it has undergone over the years and also explore the industrial areas of Bihar. Our economy is performing well with a state GDP that surpasses the average. The MSME ecosystem is also thriving. Investors typically consider factors such as market potential, connectivity, raw materials, infrastructure and location. Bihar is strategically located with a population of around 14 crore and the entire eastern region is growing rapidly. The state boasts three airports, excellent roads, good train services and waterways, all contributing to superb connectivity. The highways are well-maintained. In terms of raw materials, Bihar is renowned for Bhagalpur silk and produces significant amounts of silk, jute and leather. Britannia has established its second factory here and 85% of India’s makhana is produced in Bihar. It is also the third-largest producer of potatoes. Food processing has immense potential in the state and we have agri-produced clusters. We are blessed with abundant water resources. Bihar hosts numerous industrial parks, including the Plug and Play shed in Muzaffarpur, a Mega Food Park and the Irradiation Center Cum Packhouse. We also have software technology parks and strong government policy support. We offer ready-to-plug facilities, a fast allotment process, guided tours, assistance with mandatory and statutory clearances and training support. Importantly, we don’t just declare subsidies; we actually provide them.”

While addressing the theme, Mr. Ameya Prabhu, President, Indian Chamber of Commerce, expressed, “When you invest, peace of mind is essential. Today, Bihar is regarded as a safe investment destination. The state has made significant progress over the years. The infrastructure here is excellent. I am grateful to the Government of Bihar for implementing such progressive changes in the state. Job creation activities in Bihar have increased, industries are growing and Bihar has become a hub of labour and manpower. Data connectivity and the availability of labour make Bihar an ideal region for IT. The ethanol and agriculture sectors are expanding and there are promising opportunities in manufacturing. Tourism is another sector where Bihar is experiencing tremendous growth. We aim to contribute to the development of ‘Behtraeen Bihar.’ Together, we will work towards the progress of Bihar.”

While concluding, Dr Rajeev Singh, Director General, Indian Chamber of Commerce, focused, “Many people here might not have expected Bihar to offer landscapes and opportunities like these. What is crucially needed are more interactions, roadshows and platforms that connect with relevant companies and investors. These initiatives invite them to experience Bihar firsthand, turning them into ambassadors who will promote the state.”

As an existing investor from Bihar, Mr. Amit Saraogi, Anmol Feeds, said, “I have been an investor in Bihar since 2000, starting Anmol Feeds with two units, including one in Muzaffarpur. Based on my personal experiences, I can attest that Bihar has investor-friendly government schemes and all promises are kept. Subsidies are received on time and there is plenty of industrial land available. Bihar truly has a single-window system and its development has made it the top district for feed production. I set up my first factory in 2005, the second in 2018 and the third will be established in 2024. We have always encouraged fellow entrepreneurs to invest in Bihar because of the genuine ease of doing business. I chose to invest here due to the ample business opportunities. Muzaffarpur is strategically located, facilitating transportation.”

As an existing investor from Bihar, Mr. Tushar Jain, Priority Bags, said, “My journey in Bihar began just two years ago. What immediately struck me was covering 60 kilometers in just one hour while traveling here. This highlighted the exceptional infrastructure and transportation system Bihar offers. I managed to set up my factory in a remarkable 53 days, which was a significant achievement. Bihar is undoubtedly a secure investment destination where businesses can thrive. Our focus is on two key aspects: encouraging people to return to Bihar, not just to stitch bags but to stitch together families. My business involves bags and women’s empowerment, making this initiative particularly meaningful.”

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