Mamata lists possible business prospects to Scottish investors
Edinburgh: Showcasing the state's industrial landscape among Scottish businessmen, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday charted out potential areas of collaboration ranging from engineering, services to IT and ITeS, between Bengal and Scottish industries.
Banerjee was present in a business meet here organised by Scottish Development International with the support of Asia Scotland Institute and Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce.
"Come to Bengal to see what we have done. We are trying to improve the economic scenario in the state, making it more investment friendly," she said while addressing the members of the SDI.
The programme was held at Sheraton Grand Hotel. Amit Mitra, state Finance minister and Chief Secretary Malay De were also present at the meeting.
Inviting them to attend the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) scheduled to be held on January 16 and 17, 2018 in Kolkata, she argued strongly in favour of investment opportunities in Bengal. Banerjee said the state being in Eastern India is the gateway to the North-East and close to Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Myanmar. Even doing business with Singapore and Malaysia is easy from Bengal.
The Chief Minister maintained that the Bengal government has already framed favourable land policies and has set up a land bank to facilitate investors. The government has also formulated industrial policy and policy for the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME). "The situation is much better in Bengal now in comparison to the 34 years of misrule under the erstwhile Left Front government. We have transparent policies and the workers available are really skilled. There is no dearth of talent in Bengal," she said adding: "We can grow stronger by intensifying our bond."
She said the areas that can interest businessmen and investors from both the countries are healthcare, tourism, food processing, ITeS. She said many medical students are coming to Oxford, Cambridge and visiting Edinburgh to study medicine. "We have doctors in Kolkata who on their prescription pads write the medical degrees they have obtained from Edinburgh."
She said: "Through cooperation we can intensify our bond which we have been enjoying for so many years."
Following her usual style, she referred to the Scott Missionaries who had toiled hard to spread education in Bengal during the British Raj. Rev Alexander Duff was the first overseas missionary of the Church of Scotland to India. He founded the General Assembly's Institution that later came to be known as the Scottish Church College in 1830. David Hare was a Scottish watchmaker who took a leading role in founding Presidency College. Banerjee added: "Scotland, which is the education hub in the United Kingdom, can have ties with Calcutta University, Jadavpur University and Presidency University." She said: "We will have to explore these areas."
She also spoke about the Kanyashree project meant for the empowerment of girl child that recently bagged the United Nation's Public Service Award for Asia Pacific. Banerjee, who was present at the prize giving ceremony of the FIFA U-17 World Cup football match which was held at Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on October 28, lauded the English boys for lifting the trophy.
Earlier, businessmen from Bengal shared their experiences in doing business. The speakers included Sanjiv Goenka, Sanjiv Puri of ITC, Tarun Jhunjhunwalla, OP Dhanuka, Keshav Bangar, Gautam Chatterjee, Rudra Chatterjee, Sanjay Budhia, Sumit Dabriwal and Mayank Jalan and Biswadeep Gupta.