Naveen Seeks Japan-Odisha Collaboration In Tourism & Sports; MoU Signed For Gymnastics Centre

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is on a visit to Japan to attract investment, hosted a roundtable discussion in Kyoto with a focus on collaboration between Japan and Odisha in tourism and sports.

The discussion was attended by major tour operators and representatives of the hospitality sector from Japan as well as participation from various Japanese sports associations and representatives from the sports sector.

During the discussion, the Chief Minister highlighted the immense potential of Odisha as a tourist destination, with a particular emphasis on leveraging the state’s rich Buddhist tradition especially the heritage sites in Dhauli, Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri. He spoke about various initiatives undertaken by the state government to promote tourism and improve tourism infrastructure.

He also highlighted the significant strides made by Odisha in the sports sector and expressed his hope for collaboration with Japanese sports associations and universities. Speaking on the government’s focus on field of hockey, he informed the audience about the Birsa Munda Hockey Stadium in Rourkela, which is the world’s largest hockey stadium in terms of seating capacity and how it was built in a record 15 months’ time.

Citing the visit of student delegates and professors of Doshisha University, Kyoto to KIIT University, Bhubaneswar on an academic exposure trip, Naveen urged everyone present to explore such collaborative opportunities. He urged stakeholders in the sports and tourism sectors to explore opportunities for collaboration between Japan and Odisha.

During the event, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Government of Odisha and Arcelor-Mittal Nippon Steel for development of a state-of-the-art Gymnastics Centre at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar and collaboration between AM/NS and the Government to further promote sports in the state.

The delegation accompanying the chief minister presented an overview of the investment opportunities in Odisha for Japanese investors in the tourism and sports sectors. The representatives from the tourism and hospitality sectors expressed their interest in exploring the possibilities of collaboration with Odisha, given the state’s unique cultural heritage and natural beauty.

Hemant Sharma, principal secretary, Industries made detailed presentation on tourism sector in Odisha and the opportunities with state policy. Vineel Krishna, secretary, Sports made a presentation on the sports sector related activities and the unique partnership model promoted by the state.

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