West Bengal business delegation to visit US

West Bengal business delegation to visit US

Tuesday, 09 November 2004, 08:00 Hrs
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KOLKATA: Communist-ruled West Bengal, which is striving to revive its industry, is set to send a business delegation to the US to attract foreign investment.

Ashok Aikat, regional president of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, said the delegation would go to the US in early January if things work out according to plans.

"We are holding talks with government officials to finalise the plan. It will be a 10-day trip and the delegation will probably have six members," Aikat told IANS.

The team will have government officials and business representatives.

Aikat said the delegation would visit New York, Washington, New Jersey and several important cities to hold talks with leading US businessmen and policymakers.

It would also showcase the burgeoning opportunities created by the IT and food processing industries in West Bengal.

"US investors should know that things have changed a great deal in West Bengal. With the presence of IT majors, a new industrial scenario has dawned in the state," Aikat added.

The industry department is giving final touches to the tour programme.

An official said the trip was aimed at preparing the ground for the visit of a bigger government delegation to the US in May.

"We hope such trips will succeed in attracting foreign investment to the state, which is necessary for boosting the IT sector," he said.

Kenneth Juster, US undersecretary of commerce, had paid a visit to West Bengal in October and met Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya.

Bhattacharya said they had a fruitful discussion and he would not hesitate to visit the US if he was assured of concrete investment proposals.

Although US investments in West Bengal are negligible when compared with those in other Indian states, they are on the rise. IBM Global, GE Capital, Pepsi and Coca-Cola are some of the American giants that have set up their units in West Bengal.

Source: IANS
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