Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will lead a delegation to Rome and Dubai starting June 20. This will be only his second foreign tour since he took over as the Chief Minister for the first time in March 2000 — the only other visit was to London in May 2012.
The trip to Rome comes after the World Food Programme (WFP) invited him to visit its headquarters in the Italian capital. According to an official release, he will meet the WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley as well as its other senior leaders. He will have detailed discussions on Odisha’s partnership with the WFP and future projects which will further help the State in ensuring sustainable food security.
During his stay in Rome, Patnaik will meet Pope Francis in the Vatican, the release said. The Chief Minister will also reach out to the Odia diaspora from various parts of Europe and discuss possible ways to promote the art and culture of Odisha.
Patnaik will then land in Dubai on June 26, where he is expected to meet potential investors from West Asia and its adjoining regions, and encourage them to invest in Odisha. On June 29, the Chief Minister will participate in one-on-one meetings with investors in the presence of a high-level industrial delegation. The delegation includes Chief Secretary Suresh Mohapatra, Secretary to Chief Minister (5T) V.K. Pandian, Principal Secretary (Food and Civil Supplies) V.V. Yadav, Principal Secretary (Industries) Hemant Sharma, and Resident Commissioner in New Delhi Ravi Kant. It will explore opportunities for possible partnerships.
Similar to his sojourn in Rome, Patnaik will meet the Odia diaspora from the region in Dubai. He is scheduled to return to India on June 30.
Naveen Patnaik left for New Delhi on June 18. Before his departure, he reviewed the preparations for the annual Rath Yatra of Lord Jagannath in Puri through video conferencing. The Yatra is scheduled to be held on July 1, which he will attend the day after he returns.