Bengal's marquee business summit to begin on Tuesday
Kolkata, Nov 20 (PTI) Business leaders from 28 countries, a host of prominent figures of corporate India as well as political dignitaries are expected to take part in the seventh edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) that will begin on Tuesday, officials said.
The participating countries include the US, UK, Japan, Poland, France, Australia, Germany, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Fiji, they said.
Corporate bigwigs from Reliance Industries, ITC, Ambuja Neotia and the Hiranandani Group are also likely to attend the state's marquee business summit.
The focus sectors at the two-day BGBS 2023 are MSME, textiles, engineering, energy, transport & urban infrastructure, real estate, agri, tourism and international trade & logistics, officials said.
Over 250 international delegates are expected to participate, including senior representatives from the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, they said.
'Reliance Industries Chairman & MD Mukesh Ambani is expected to attend this year's BGBS. Other industrialists such as Sanjeev Goenka, Sanjeev Puri, Purnendu Chattopadhyay, Harshvardhan Neotia and Sajjan Jindal will also be present,' an official said.
'Numerous B2B and B2G meetings will be organised on the sidelines of the summit, highlighting trade and investment opportunities between the global community and West Bengal,' he said.
The United Kingdom is set to bring the 'largest-ever' delegation to the BGBS, the British Deputy High Commission said.
A 55-member delegation from a wide range of businesses and institutions will represent the UK at the event, it said.
In the 2022 edition, a total of 137 MoUs, Letters of Intent (LoI) and Expressions of Interest (EoI) towards investment proposals of Rs 3,42,375 crore were signed, according to state government data.
'These have a total employment potential of 40 lakh,' the data showed.
Economist Debnarayan Sarkar said the chink in the armour remains the realisation of the investment proposals amid a relatively subdued investments scenario across the country and disruption in the global supply chains in view of the geopolitical conflicts.
'According to data on the implementation of Industrial Entrepreneurs' Memoranda up to December 2022, West Bengal with a share of 1.5 per cent is not among the top five states in terms of investments. These IEMs cover only large-scale investments. The investment trend is better in West Bengal if one considers the small industries, a focus area of the state,' Sarkar, a retired professor of Presidency University, told PTI.
The state government organised various programmes in the run-up to the two-day event. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited Dubai and Spain in September to woo investors.
'In the last 10-12 years, Bengal has seen tremendous growth. The macroeconomic performance is one of the highest in the country. Bengal is a huge market with tremendous opportunity. Government policies are investor-friendly and proactive,' said Shiv Siddhant Kaul, the eastern region chairman of CII, which is the national industry partner for the event.
By building social infrastructure, the state has ensured a harmonious and productive work culture, he said, adding that a politically stable environment ensures long-term visibility and viability of investments.
Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Gautam Ray said, 'We are very passionate about sustainability and net zero, and advocate integrating these with core business decisions.' 'Keeping this in mind, we will be organising three sectoral sessions on Sustainable Development Goals, Technical Education, Training & Skill and Manufacturing, and also organise a country session with the UK, and a B2B session with the US on Education & Healthcare,' he said.
A state government official said that several new areas for investment will be showcased to industrialists at the event.
The state's proposed 4,000-acre Jangal Sundari Karma Nagari at Purulia, Dankuni-Haldia, Dankuni-Kalyani and Dankuni-Raghunathpur industrial growth corridors, and Bengal Silicon Valley Hub at New Town are among them, he said. PTI BDC RBT SCH BDC SOM
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