Bhubaneswar: South Korean investors showed keen interest in promoting startups, incubators and MSME sector in Odisha.

A joint delegation of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) met the chief secretary AP Padhi, here on Wednesday .

The KOICA led by its director Sang Hoon Jung, and ILO led by its senior sustainable enterprise development specialist Kelvin Sergeant during their discussion with Padhi and ACS MSME, LN Gupta, and chairman Skilled in Odisha Initiative Subrato Bagchi expressed their interest to set up a mechanism for improving entrepreneurial skills of MSMEs and startups to improve their business sustainability and enhance competitiveness.

The KOICA delegation expressed their intention to assist the Skilled Odisha Initiative especially, in the area of beauty and wellness, mechatronics and engineering.

 The ILO-KOICA delegation had a detailed meeting with ACS MSME L.N. Gupta, who showcased the development of MSME sector in the state with priority accorded to sectors, namely, Food Processing, Chemical & Petrochemicals, Textiles & Apparel, Electronics Manufacturing and Tourism. They were also apprised about the fast growing startup ecosystem in Odisha. Korea having expertise in sectors like IT, Electronics, hardware systems, renewable and food processing sectors, discussion centred around exchange of startups, incubators and MSMEs working in these areas and upgradation of technology. It was also proposed to facilitate collaboration between Institute of Entrepreneurship Development (IED) and Korea Small Business Institute for conduct of quality entrepreneurship programme for MSMEs and startups. The officials of ILO proposed for capacity building of institutions namely, Startup Odisha and DICs for upscaling innovation, startups and new generation entrepreneurship. The possibility of facilitating exchange visits of Industry Chambers of Odisha and Korea for B2B business interaction & development and participation of Korean MSMEs in Odisha MSME International Trade Fair & Invest Odisha and vice versa were also deliberated.

The delegation of KOICA also included Wooill Sim, Korea Small Business Institute and Chul Hee Lee, Global Development Cooperation specialist, from ILO Sudipta Bhadra, Senior Programme Officer, Kelvin Sergeant, Senior Enterprise Specialist and Anjana Chellan. Director of Industries, Odisha, MD, OSIC, DEPM Secretary, OK&VIB also participated in the discussion.