Chief Minister highlights economic advantages of West Bengal

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is pictured briefing Asia House corporate members, with CEO of Asia House Michael Lawrence, on her right

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, left, briefs Asia House corporate members, with CEO of Asia House Michael Lawrence, right

Chief Minister highlights economic advantages of West Bengal

29/07/15

By Naomi Canton

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee highlighted the economic advantages of West Bengal and investment opportunities in the state during a private briefing held at Asia House.

The Chief Minister spoke to top UK business leaders during the event, which took place during her short visit to London. She was accompanied at the briefing by various West Bengal Government officials including Dr Amit Mitra, Finance, Commerce and Industries Minister and Sanjay Mitra, Chief Secretary. Harshavardhan Neotia, chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group, also spoke at the briefing.

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From left Amit Mitra, West Bengal Finance, Commerce and Industries Minister, Richard Reid, London Chairman of KPMG, Mamata Banerjee, West Bengal Chief Minister, Ambarish Dasgupta, Head of Management Consulting, KPMG India and Rajiva Sinha, West Bengal Principal Secretary, meet before the briefing at Asia House

Topics discussed included infrastructure development in the state, incentives for foreign businesses to invest, the state’s relationship with the Centre, efforts to cut bureaucracy and tackle corruption, the state’s workforce and West Bengal’s historic ties with the UK.

Public investment has been the main driver of growth in the state in recent years however the government is now looking to attract private partners.

Asia House corporate members represented at the table included Anglo American, KPMG, Barclays, Nikkei, BP, PA Consulting, PwC and Standard Chartered.

The private briefing was held in partnership with KPMG.

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West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee signs the Asia House guest book next to CEO of Asia House Michael Lawrence.

In the 2014-15 financial year, West Bengal experienced a Gross Value Added (GVA) growth of 10.48 per cent in comparison to India’s growth of 7.5 per cent as a whole. The state is currently India’s fifth largest economy based on Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP).

Earlier in the week the Chief Minister met Prince Andrew at Buckingham Palace and Priti Patel, British Conservative MP and the UK Minister of State for Employment. She also visited the Rabindranath Tagore sculpture at Gordon Square in London and the recently unveiled Mahatma Gandhi statue at Parliament Square. She was accompanied by a 62-member delegation to London, including state cabinet ministers and MPs and has signed 21 MoUs during her trip. The aim of the visit to the UK is to raise awareness of the investment potential of West Bengal.

The Chief Minister had to cut short her tour and return to Kolkata on Wednesday night so that she could visit districts in her state which had been hit by a cyclonic storms.

naomi.canton@asiahouse.co.uk

To read an article by Aditya Ghosh for the Asia House website to coincide with Banerjee’s visit which analyses the West Bengal economy, the challenges it has faced and suggestions for how it can develop click here.

The next briefing for Asia House corporate members is with the Chinese Ambassador to the UK HE Liu Xiaoming on Wednesday, 5 August when China-UK relations will be discussed. For more information about that click here.

To find out more about becoming a corporate member of Asia House click here.