A 21-member Chinese trade delegation on Monday expressed their interest to invest in seven different industrial sectors in the state. The delegation – consisting of chief executive officers, vice-presidents and managing directors of 13 different companies met the local business fraternities on a ‘Business to Business’ gathering to discuss trade and investments in Bengal.
On Monday morning, state Commerce and Industries minister Amit Mitra met the delegates. “They are interested to invest in the sectors of coal machinery and equipments, metallurgy, mining, electrical, chemical productions, pharmaceutical and medical equipments, biological equipments, hydropower and real estate materials,” Mitra said.
“We are interested in manufacturing, infrastructure, real estate and heavy machinery. The scenario of Bengal is business friendly and conducive for investment,” said Hua Bing Gao, Chairman of Worldwide Business Culture Exchange Center, who is leading the delegation.
It may be recalled that Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao had met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in November 2015, reportedly assuring her to send a business delegation to the state.
“Chinese Vice-President had met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and at the time had assured her to send a business delegation. With a focus on investment, the 13 companies from China have come to explore business opportunities in Bengal, whose aggregated turnover is USD 10 billion,” said Mitra, adding that a delegation comprising top bosses of ‘Fortune 500’ companies is set to visit the state in November this year.
Additionally, the Chinese delegation will have discussions with Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) and also visit a manufacturing zone at Burdwan’s Panagarh to get exact knowledge of investment opportunities in the state.
“The Chinese delegation will visit the Matix factory at Panagarh. It will give them genuine knowledge of industrialisation in the state. As the first phase of its Panagarh urea plant is ready for commissioning, Matix Fertilizers plans to invest Rs 6,500 crore in the second phase of the project,” the Commerce and Industries minister said.
Mitra said the Chinese companies have also shown their interest in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector, which will be given support on behalf of the state government as per the industrial policy. A WBIDC official said the state has 6,000 acre of land in 23 industrial estates.
The trade deficit of India-China has swelled to USD 52.68 Billion in 2015-16 from USD 48.48 Billion in the previous fiscal. “The huge trade deficit shows us that we should do more business with China,” Mitra added.
“We have invited the Chinese delegation to attend the Bengal Global Business Summit and I hope they will take a firm decision on investments in the state. Chinese do not take much time. Many countries take time to research, Chinese are not like those. They are always quick to grab the opportunities,” Mitra said.