The Bengal Global Business Summit has been one of the biggest industry-related events to take place in recent times in the state. It spanned two days – January 7 and January 8. It was an event where some of the top business executives of India, and some top ones from 20 nations, announced investments worth lakhs of crores. They flew in with their proposals and went back with glowing reviews of the state.
ADVANTAGES WHICH WEST BENGAL PROVIDES TO INDUSTRY
SIXTH LARGEST ECONOMY
West Bengal is the sixth largest economy in the country after Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.
The state had a gross state domestic product (GSDP) of US$ 114.6 billion in 2012-13.
GSDP expanded at a CAGR of 14.6% during 2005-13.
STRATEGIC LOCATION WITH EXCELLENT CONNECTIVITY
The locational advantage makes the state a gateway to eastern India, the north-east, Nepal and Bhutan.
It is also a strategic entry point for markets in South-east Asia.
The state is well-connected with the rest of the country through railways, roads, ports (Haldia and Kolkata) and two international airports (Kolkata and a soon-to-be-inaugurated one in Durgapur).
RICH IN NATURAL RESOURCES AND MINERALS
West Bengal has abundant natural resources of minerals and suitable agro-climatic conditions for agriculture, horticulture and fisheries.
It is in the vicinity of mineral-rich states like Jharkhand, Bihar and Odisha.
The contribution of the textile industry to the state's GSDP is targeted to rise to 10% by 2022-23 from 5.2% in 2009-10.
The government of West Bengal can now offer 1.06 lakh acres of land to industries wanting to set up their projects in the state.
The land bank comprises land that had been lying idle under various departments of the state government.
The Land and Land Reforms Department, which created the land bank, has 76,000 acres while other departments account for 30,000 acres.
The state government has passed a land policy, which is beneficial for both industry and farmers.
The policy ensures a good compensation package for those who give up their land.
WBIDC alone has 3,263 acres ready for use.
The first day itself saw investments worth more than Rs 93,000 crore come in. On the whole, in two days, a massive Rs 2.4 lakh crore worth investments flowed in.
Representatives from 20 countries, including from the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Luxembourg and Australia, visited the summit and praised the government’s efforts towards creating opportunities for industries to be set up.
Among the investments announced at the summit are…
MoUs worth Rs 41,600 crore were signed by the union Ministry of Shipping. This includes a deep sea port named Bhor Sagar (‘New Dawn’) at Sagar Island, with investment of Rs 12,000 crore. Rs 1200 crore will be invested in the development of a second port in Haldia. Waterway development between Haldia and Varanasi worth Rs 4,500 crore will also take place.
SAIL have announced projects worth Rs 40,000 crore
MoUs regarding Deocha-Pachami coal mines were signed, which will bring in investments worth Rs 12,000 crore
Mitsubishi Chemicals’ fresh investments for the Haldia plant
GoAir, with an investment of Rs 1000 crore, intends to start operations from Nazrul Islam Airport in Andal
Fresh investment by ITC worth Rs 3,000 crore
Massive hydrocarbon gas project is coming up, with investment worth Rs 5000 crore from Hiranandani Group
TCS will create 20,000 new jobs in Kolkata
NTPC is investing Rs 20,000 crore
Essel group is investing Rs 15,000 crore
Subarna group is investing Rs 1000 crore
Many of the industry captains of the country shared their experiences of working in West Bengal as well as their intentions of investing in the state.
Highest acceleration of consumer goods growth in the last 3 months has been in eastern India and most so in Bengal: Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group
We will be doubling our investment in Bengal. We will be setting up a wagon factory
I commend industry to come… to Bengal. Of our new investments of Rs 25,000 crore, Rs 3,000 crore is in Bengal: YC Deveshwar, MD, ITC
You don’t invest thousands of crores on emotion. We do so because it makes sound business sense: Sanjiv Goenka, Chairman, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group
We find it very rewarding to work in Bengal. We are creating 20,000 more top-class talent and jobs: TCS chief in West Bengal
A massive hydrocarbon gas project is coming up in Bengal. This Rs 5,000 crore project is to be completed in 2018: Niranjan Hiranandani, MD, Hiranandani Group
We will take part in the education sector, in agri-business, in the revamping of universities and in tourism; say Yes to West Bengal: Rana Kapur, President, Yes Bank
The state is developing infrastructure to promote tourism: Dr Jyotsna Suri, Chairperson & Managing Director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group
Not just the industrialist from India were the ones to heap praise on the state’s efforts; even a lot of the foreign delegates were extremely hopeful about the state, hence signed so many agreements were signed bringing in new investments. Here’s a selection of their comments:
UKIBC Chair Patricia Hewitt: I invite the Hon. Chief Minister to visit England. I am here to promote B2B – not just ‘Business to Business’ but ‘Britain 2 Bengal.’
Global CEO of Mitsubishi Chemicals: The special affinity between the people of Bengal and Japan continues. I sincerely hope this summit will be a new dawn in Japan-Bengal relations.
Representatives of Changi International Airport: We will continue our relationship with West Bengal.
Representative from USA: We will continue our relationship with West Bengal. My wife and I want to start a Baul village in Bolpur.
Representatives of Scomi Group, Malaysia: West Bengal worked very fast to respond to our request. That is why we are here today. We are looking forward to forge new relationships.
South Korean Ambassador: We are witnessing a very positive change happening in West Bengal. Bengal is destined to become a major hub of eastern India. The state has all that it takes to become an investor destination. There is a scope for West Bengal and Korea to partner in the SME sector.
Bangladesh business delegation: I am accompanying more than 25 entrepreneurs who would love to invest in West Bengal. The first private sector industrial park by Bangladesh will be set up in Kolkata.
President of Nepal Chamber of Commerce: Bengal and Nepal share a traditional and historical friendship.
The Bengal Global Business Summit 2015 was a great success. Investment agreements worth lakhs of crores were inked, and employment opportunities for a crore of the state’s youth were announced. The massive success of this summit is expected to only grow further in the next one, whose dates have already been announced – January 8-9, 2016.
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