The G20 Sikkim meeting begins under India’s G20 Presidency

Sikkim offers to invest in green technology, market access, value addition and research and capacity building for its organic products: CM PS Tamang

Gangtok, March 16: A delegation from 22 countries gathered with 53 overseas participants in Sikkim for the conference which also included more than 100 Indian delegations.
Gangtok March 16, 2023
The B20 Conference under India’s G20 Presidency kicked off today in Gangtok, Sikkim with the theme ‘Tourism, Hospitality, Medicine and Organic Agriculture’. The event was honored by Shri P.S. Tamang Gulay, Chief Minister of Sikkim, Shri VP Pathak, Chief Secretary, Sikkim, Ms. Rupa Dutta, Principal Adviser, DPIIT, Government of India, Mr. Ashish Kumar Sinha, Joint Secretary (G20), G20 Secretariat, Government of India, Mr. Noorur Rahman Shaikh, Joint Secretary (Economic Diplomacy), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission and Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, Government of India and Ms. Namrata Thapa, Managing Secretary Media and Public Relations, Government of Sikkim.

In his keynote address as chief guest, Chief Minister of Sikkim emphasized that with SDG index of 71 high score among states and has succeeded in creating sustainable livelihoods through pro-people policies. The Prime Minister also mentioned that Sikkim has been recognized as the country’s first Member State and has a thriving tourism potential that can be tapped by the global community.

Shri VP Pathak, General Secretary, Sikkim outlined the potential of Sikkim in the organic farming, tourism, pharmaceutical and hospitality sectors. While indicating that the country entered into a joint venture with a private company in organic agriculture, the Secretary-General also highlighted that the country has come up with investment-friendly policies in tourism to attract tourists, especially ecotourism and adventure tourism.
The inaugural session kicked off with a plenary session on exploring opportunities for multi-stakeholder business partnerships in tourism, hospitality, organic farming and pharmacy. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in collaboration with the Government of Sikkim, Ministry of External Affairs and DPIIT are partners in this initiative.

A delegation from 22 countries along with 53 participants from abroad gathered in Sikkim for the conference which also included more than 100 Indian delegations. They will be taken to Rumtek Monastery, the largest monastery in Sikkim tomorrow to showcase its rich cultural heritage.
Dr. Chintan Vaishnav, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission and Additional Secretary, NITI Aayog, Ms. Rupa Dutta, Principal Economic Adviser, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Shri Ashish Kumar Sinha, Joint Secretary (G20), G20 Secretariat, Government of India, Shri Noor Rahman Sheikh, Joint Secretary (Economic Diplomacy), Ministry of External Affairs, Smt Namrata Thapa, Secretary, DIPR, Sikkim, Shri Pradeep Purohit, CII North East Council member and other delegates were also present at the event.

About B20 and G20:
The G20 brings together the world’s major and systemically important economies with its members accounting for 85% of global GDP and 75% of international trade.
India’s G20 presidency offers an opportunity for the country to address pressing global challenges and provides a platform to showcase India’s leadership on the global stage and shape the international agenda on critical issues.
Business20 (B20) is one of the most prominent among the various engagement groups with companies and business forums, representing the global business community, and aims to provide concrete and actionable policy recommendations on priorities by each rotating presidency to stimulate economic growth and development.
India’s G20 Presidency provides an excellent opportunity for the country to showcase its achievements and opportunities in this sector and engage with private players and individuals to enhance its growth prospects. In this regard, the B20 Conference on Opportunities for Multilateral Business Partnerships in Tourism, Hospitality, Pharmaceuticals and Organic Agriculture in Gangtok, Sikkim, from 15 to 17 March 2023, is an important step by the government.
Northeast India, especially Sikkim, is blessed with stunning natural beauty and a diverse cultural heritage. The region boasts green hills, cascading waterfalls, meandering rivers, and exotic wildlife. It is the perfect blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, adventure and spirituality. Tourists from all over the world visit India to witness its amazing traditions and cultural heritage, which laid the foundation for the Indian tourism sector, which contributes around 5% of the GDP. After the COVID-19 pandemic, India has implemented several reforms to boost tourism, which has greatly boosted the sector.
Organic Agriculture
Sikkim is the first country in the world to be 100% organic certified. Organic farming is a type of agricultural production that emphasizes the use of natural inputs and practices to produce crops and livestock that are free of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It focuses on cultivating and maintaining healthy soils, biodiversity, and ecosystems.
Sikkim has achieved an amazing milestone of becoming a 100% organic country by converting 75,000 hectares of farmland into certified organic land. It has also expanded cultivation in Sikkim with more than 22 hectares of production recorded.
Rising health concerns due to the increasing number of chemical poisoning cases globally is acting as a driver in the organic food market. India has a lot of potential to produce all kinds of organic products due to its different agro-climatic conditions. In many parts of the country, the ancestral tradition of organic farming is a plus. This bodes well for producers of organic products to take advantage of the steadily growing market in both the domestic sector and the export sector. According to available statistics, India ranks 5th in terms of organic farmland in the world and 1st in terms of total number of producers as per 2021 data. Sikkim has been recognized as the “world’s first organic country” by the London World Book of Records.
India has played a significant role in the pharmaceutical sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being the third largest exporter of pharmaceutical products worldwide, India has established itself to be a thriving market for the pharmaceutical industry.
In Sikkim, tax incentives, low manufacturing and labor costs and a pollution-free environment have proven to be the main factors that attract pharmaceutical companies.
tourism and hospitality-
The tourism and hospitality sector in Sikkim is a market full of opportunities. The local cuisine, handicrafts, and cultural experiences were the major draws for the tourists. Moreover, the Union Government’s efforts to improve local infrastructure and create more connectivity locally and internationally in the region will boost the sector. The new Union Budget Plan 2022-23 is called the Prime Minister’s Initiative for Development for the North-Eastern Region (PM-DevINE) with a budget of Rs. 6,600 crore from 2022 to 2025-26. The aim is to accelerate infrastructure development in the North-East region and stimulate economic growth in the region.
The conference will facilitate B2B and B2G dialogue in key sectors of Sikkim. As part of India’s G20 Presidency, the B20 Participation Group Conference in Sikkim will explore partnerships between the business communities of G20 member countries in order to develop a common agenda for developing vital sectors of the economy as an engine of growth. (PIB, Gangtok March 16, 2023)

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