The political situation in Bengal is far better than it was in the previous Left Front regime: this was the reaction of the trade delegation from China, visiting Bengal to explore investment opportunities.
The Chinese business team also feels that Bengal is ‘business friendly’ and the environment is ‘conducive’ to investment.
A year earlier, Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao had met Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee while touring India. Some had claimed that the
reason for him visiting the Chief Minister was a Chinese survey, which has reportedly ranked Mamata Banerjee first among all Indian politicians in terms of honesty.
It was also reportedly the opening remark of Chinese Vice-President when he met Banerjee in Kolkata.
However, state Commerce and Industries minister Amit Mitra – who was with Banerjee during the meeting – had a different reason to explain. He believed that this was a stimulating accolade from the visiting Chinese dignitary.
Honest leaders can safely assure businessmen about the safety and prosperity of a region. Thus, China marked Bengal as favoured zone for trade.
Mitra was seemingly not wrong. Hua Bing Gao, Chairman, Worldwide Business Culture Exchange Centre, who is heading the trade delegation in Kolkata, was very clear in his statement. “We are here for investment. The political situation is far better than in the previous regime,” Gao said.
The 34-year-long Left Front regime in Bengal had witnessed various industrial ups and down. When Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee came to power, a flow of planned industrialisation started in the state.
Gao represents a trade delegation which has nearly five thousand companies under one umbrella in China – a staunchly Communist nation. The state industrial development body – Bengal Industrial development Corporation (WBIDC) was certainly excited by his statement.
“The delegation has elite entrepreneurs from 13 well-known enterprises in China. The annual output of these companies is USD 10 billion. The investment initiatives would be led by chairman of the board of Shaanxi Energy Group Company Limited. They would be looking at hydro power and water conservation. Szechuan Chunke Industrial Company Limited will seek agreement with Bengal on real estate and infrastructure policies. They would also like to understand about the possibilities of getting loans or working capital for infrastructure projects. The Crown Investment Group Company Limited will also seek cooperation with local companies or stand alone business in machinery manufacturing,” a WBIDC officer said.
Gao, however, had no interest in Tata Motor’s departure from Singur. “I am not very clear about that matter,” he said, adding that “we have brought top business heads in Kolkata. They are CEOs, MDs, and VPs of renowned companies. We are here to invest.”