Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today welcomed the visit of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to West Bengal on May 7.
I have heard she is coming and she is most welcome in our state. But we have not yet received any official communication from the US embassy or the consulate,so officially I cannot say anything on her visit, Mamata said during a media interaction.
The US State Department,in a communique yesterday,said that Hillary would travel from Beijing to Dhaka to Kolkata and finally to New Delhi between May 5 and May 8,and that in Kolkata,she would meet government officials and representatives from civil society. According to sources,Hillary will also meet the chief minister.
This will be Hillarys second visit to Kolkata. The first time was in September 1997 when she was First Lady to attend the funeral of Mother Teresa. The US consulate refused to say anything about the visit as they have not received her programme details.
Both Hillary and Mamata featured among the 100 most influential persons in Time magazines latest issue.
Representatives of various chambers and commerce said they were keen on meeting Hillary. We have already sent a request to the US consulate for a meeting with the Secretary of State. Its a very positive sign that a top official of the Obama administration is coming to our state. We are sure it will enhance business ties between the two countries, Sanjay Budhia,chairman of the Exports Imports committee of the CII,told The Indian Express.
Ashok Aikat,president of Bharat Chamber of Commerce,said: Its a really positive sign.