With less than three weeks left for the commencement of the third edition of Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), the state government is ready with its ‘Advantage Bengal’ campaign.
The campaign will specifically showcase advantages and opportunities for investment in Bengal to industry captains and foreign delegates at the summit.
‘Advantage Bengal’ will be promoted at different sessions, including the ‘inaugural plenary session’, multi-country interactions and B2B meetings. It may also be a part of the plenary session with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The campaign will highlight the strategic location of the Bengal, which is advantageous for trade purposes. The campaign says that Bengal is the gateway to South-East Asia and North-East India. It shares international borders with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. Moreover, the state is well connected with Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia – which are part of the booming Asian economy.
A source in the state secretariat said the government is expecting investment from ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries. All 10 members of ASEAN would be participating in the business summit. Delegations from Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam have already confirmed their presence.
“The mineral-rich states of Jharkhand, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh are not far away. But eyeing the vast tourism prospect, we will also campaign the geographical advantages – Himalayas, the Dooars, Riverine Delta of the Sunderbans and beaches,” said the source.
There are many other specialities that will be highlighted through the ‘Advantage Bengal’ campaign. Bengal has the third largest road network in the country, with more than 3,15,404 km of roads. Richly-endowed with natural maritime advantages, Bengal has 950 km of water front. It is the leading state in the country in terms of spread density and reach of National Inland Waterways. It has two international airports at Kolkata and Bagdogra. It has around 4,000 km of railway tracks, including the second largest Metro Rail network in the country.
‘Advantage Bengal’ will also underline the power scenario of the state. Bengal is leading in power generation, distribution, quality and availability in India. The feature which will be showcased prominently will be the fact that Bengal achieved India’s highest bank credit flow to the tune of $15 billion to MSMEs in the last five years since 2011-12, which Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance minister Amit Mitra will highlight to industrialists.
Bengal is the highest producer of vegetables in the country and the second largest producer in terms of number of MSMEs, which stands at 3.7 million enterprises. It is second in tea production after Assam and third largest in mineral production, accounting for about one-fifth of the total mineral production of the country.
“Zero man days were lost in the last five years and Kolkata is the first Metropolitan city in the country with Wi-Fi connectivity on 4G,” the secretariat source said.
Port, mining and MSME will be the thrust areas at the BGBS 2017. The state government recently framed its Maritime Policy with the help of global analytical company CRISIL. Moreover, the government has also opened the door to widen ‘post-based industrialisation’ to add a sharp edge in Bengal’s trade scenario.