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The Uttar Pradesh government has initiated talks with the US, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and members of the European Union as part of its efforts to attract companies to invest in the state, especially those looking to shift from China.

Chief minister Yogi Adityanath has formed an economic task force that will focus on companies willing to move out of China following the coronavirus outbreak, said Siddharth Nath Singh, minister for investment, export promotion and MSMEs in the state.

“It is the belief and vision of the chief minister to convert the pandemic into an opportunity. The state government has decided to attract investment and approach countries that want to move their businesses out of China," said Singh.

Investors from Thailand are expected to visit in October, while a meeting with companies from South Korea is expected soon, he said.

Earlier this month, a webinar was organized with the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, in which more than 100 American firms, including Microsoft, Adobe, Boston Instrumentation, UPS, and FedEx, had participated.

“Most companies have their base in China and were keen to explore business opportunities in Uttar Pradesh. These are big names in the field of scientific instrumentation, logistics, and automobiles. They were briefed about the state’s industrial policies and advantages," the minister said.

The US has significant investments in China and both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Adityanath want industries that aim to shift base from China to come to India, specifically UP, he said.

The task force, headed by Singh and minister for industrial development Satish Mahana, has also approached the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry and updated its members on the recent changes in the labour and industrial policies. “We expect a meeting of the task force with South Korean companies soon. They are interested in sectors such pharmaceuticals, medical devices and technology," he said.

“The objective is to interact with foreign investors, apprise them of the opportunities in Uttar Pradesh and invite them to invest. Most of the companies and investors were keen to know about the facilities that would be provided and changes in the state’s industrial policies. The government has assured them that provisions would be tailor-made for investors," the minister said.

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