Days after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee declined to meet American envoy Nancy J Powell amid “fear of jeopardising Muslim votes,” a 13-member American delegation has landed in Kolkata to hold consultations with finance minister Amit Mitra and other city-based industrialists on investments.
Representatives of American Chamber of Commerce — the principal host of group — said American government has been pushing for investment in this region. The visiting delegation is basically exploring the “look east policy” using Kolkata as a gateway, and base, to do business in east Asia.
Chairman of American Chamber of Commerce in India, Lowell Paddock, also president and managing director of General Motors, India, said the meeting went “very well.”
“It was very encouraging. We are exploring the region now,” he said.
Surajit Banerjee, MD of the subsidiary of US-based financial product company, Fi-Tek, said delegation “was happy to see resurgence in Bengal.”
Executive director of AMCHAM, India, Ajay Singha spoke about the state’s “willingness to see the investors come to the state”, which, he said, has sent “positive vibes”.
“We were impressed by (state commerce and industry minister) Mitra’s presentation, which showed ground reality to us. He said that land would never be an issue for investors in the state as the government has created a land bank.
“Moreover, the FDI inflows have tended to concentrate in Maharashtra, Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh. We are also exploring possibilities in the eastern region as well,” Singha said.
“In this world, nobody spends corporate time just like that. The fact that these companies have come here indicates that Bengal is emerging as an attractive destination. They have shown interest in the energy sector, IT, health and supply chain management sector. And we have told them to come with specific proposals. They are also interested in Public Private Partnership projects,” Mitra informed.
The board meeting of AMCHAM was last held in the city almost a decade ago.