All European companies started their trading activities in the ports of Orissa. Balasore town, being the head quarters of the district was an important maritime town in mediaeval times through the river Budhabalanga.
Northeast from Bhubaneswar, this medieval maritime trading port was first established by the British in 1642 with subsequent competition from the French and the Dutch. Portions of the town occupied by the French were named as “Farasidinga” and the portions occupied by the Dutch were called “Dinamardinga”. The ruins of the foreign possessions still exist. The French and the Dutch set up factories mainly dealing with textiles, saltpeter, rice, salt that were exported. They imported cowries, silver, lead, and copper. But trade decreased in the latter part of eighteenth century, as Kolkata asserted itself as an important business establishment. The Dutch traders had to abandon their businesses due to many years of war and finally had to give up their positions when it was attacked by the French emperor Napoleon. Ruins of Dutch tombs can still be seen and traces of canals, up which ocean-going ships were hauled inland When the British finally laid claim to Balasore in 1808 they could only find ruins of those factories with nothing much of importance in them.