Canada wants to tap UPs unscratched potential

Written by Deepa Jainani | Lucknow | Updated: Jan 7 2014, 21:40pm hrs
Akhilesh YadavCanada has shown interest in tapping the ?unscratched potential? of Uttar Pradesh and in forging synergy with the state government (PTI)
Canada has shown interest in tapping the unscratched potential of Uttar Pradesh and in forging synergy with the state government, especially in the areas of agri-processing, renewable energy and education.

A government and business delegation from Canada, led by Senator, Asha Seth, and president of Indo-Canadian Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), Naval Bajaj, held day-long deliberations with a team of government officials and business leaders from the state on the possibilities of trade in various sectors.

Speaking on the occasion, Bajaj said, UP has untapped potential, it is still an unscratched area, which has not been promoted properly, both in terms of its immense human resource abundance and its consumption capacity. The Canadian government is keen on forging synergy with the state, especially in sectors such as agriculture and agri-processing, energy and education, which are the strength of Canada. And this is why the Indo-Canadian mission has chosen Uttar Pradesh, said Naval Bajaj.

Stating that there is a need to break the perception that the UP government is not business-friendly and that it is not keen on building investor confidence, Bajaj said that it is now up to the state government to reach out to investors in Canada and the world over. The government needs to visit countries all over the world with a delegation of government officials and business leaders of the state and promote itself. It is, after all, the third-largest economy in the country and has posted 7% growth in the past two financial years. It also has set a target of achieving 10% growth in the 12th plan period, he said, adding that the Indo-Canada mission is just a bridge builder.

In a renewed bid to hardsell Uttar Pradesh to prospective investors, chief minister Akhilesh Yadav said that the state has huge potential and his government would do everything to attract fresh investments, especially in agriculture and food processing.

This is a new beginning for Uttar Pradesh, he said. UP is predominantly an agrarian state, with almost 68% of its population dependent on agriculture. But we need to bring new techniques and post-harvest techniques to boost the utmost potential. It it the most potential sector and we need to bring change in the way we handle it, he said.

The CM, along with senior officials including chief secretary Jawed Usmani, agriculture production commissioner Alok Ranjan and other officials took pains to hardsell the state. One cannot talk of commerce and trade opportunities in the world without thinking of India, and similarly, one cannot think of India with a mention of UP. The state's possibilities have so far remained untouched. We will do our best to market it and transform it into a better business destination, he said.

Highlighting sector-specific opportunities in energy, education, food and agriculture, science and technology, healthcare services and the larger knowledge economy, he said, I am confident that, with your visit today, we will add further momentum and purpose to the new and enriching journey that has already begun for our two countries. My vision for the state is to establish it as most preferred destination for investments, thereby accelerating its economic growth and creating vast employment opportunities, resulting in qualitative improvement in the standard of living. Asha Seth said that the Indo-Canadian Mission will explore all commercial and academic opportunities that are offered by the state.