A Day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi asked states to utilise the opportunities thrown up by the coronavirus crisis in the world to their advantage, Uttar Pradesh on Tuesday engaged with US businesses to explore the possibilities. The state received quite a positive response as many firms appeared to be keen to shift their base out of China, according to a minister in the Yogi Adityanath government.
During a video conference with almost 100 investors and companies from the United States on Tuesday, Uttar Pradesh Minister for MSME, Investment and Exports Siddharth Nath Singh was flooded with questions on what the state could offer if the companies shift their base from China. “We have told them the Uttar Pradesh government under the leadership of Yogi Adityanathji already has quite business and industry friendly policies and according to their requirements, we are open for discussion and changes,” Singh told The Indian Express.
Many firms considered leaders in their respective sectors, including Lockheed Martin, Adobe Inc, Honeywell, Boston Scientific, Cisco System, Fedex etc, attended the video conference. Singh said companies — including global delivery services firms like UPS and FedEx — asked the state government where would be their centre they could base on. “We suggested the proposed Jewar international airport could be used.”
Singh said medical devices maker Boston Scientific was keen to know what would be incentives UP would be offering if it shift its base from China. “I told them that we are ready to engage with them and we can discuss changes according to their requirements. To the pharma companies which expressed interest … near Lucknow, we said it would be an excellent location for them. The same with the defence firms, because Uttar Pradesh defence corridor could be used by them.”
“We told them we already have announced many incentives: capital subsidy, land subsidy and a bouquet of incentives. Some wanted to know about the MSME to which our response was UP already has around 9 million MSME units which could be used for multiple purposes,” he said.
The state government has recently discussed measures including amendment to the state’s industry policy to attract companies that are keen to shift their base from China. Singh and the UP Industry Minister had held a meeting earlier this month with senior officials and asked them to work out a road map which includes tweaking policies for such firms.
The minister said those who attended the meeting were also keen to know that how the state has so far managed to fight the coronavirus successfully. “I told them it’s our Chief Minister who leads the battle and we have been quite successful in containing the spread of the virus,” Singh added.
With the pandemic disrupting the global business and triggering a rethink among global investors as well as industries to diversify their sourcing and supply chain, the PM has asked his ministers as well as state chief ministers to explore ways to cash in on the situation. It echoed in almost all the addresses he has made since the country went for a lockdown in the wake of COVID-19. While interacting with his Council of Ministers on April 6, Modi asked them to “strategise for the emergent conditions” post-lockdown.
According to sources, on Monday, while addressing the chief ministers, the PM said many global companies are reviewing their sourcing from China — where the virus erupted — and every state should see how they can make use of the opportunity.
Singh’s meeting with the companies was facilitated by United States India Strategic Partnership Forum. He informed the companies about the 90 lakh MSMEs in state, which could benefit them, as well as expressways in the state and different sectoral policies for industries. —WITH ENS/LUCKNOW