West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will hold business summits in Italy and Germany starting next week to draw investments to the state. She will leave for Italy on Sunday with her team. Her first stop is Milan, where she is likely to discuss investment into West Bengal's leather industry.
A second summit will be held at Dusseldorf in Germany. The events christened "Biswa Bangla Business Summits" and scheduled from September 16 to 28, are in a way, return visits to countries that joined the Bengal Business Summit in Kolkata in January.
"The Bengal Business Summit has drawn Rs 9.5-lakh crore investment proposals," Ms Banerjee said. "And work on projects worth Rs 3.60-lakh crore has already started."
Poland had also invited her, but she sent one her ministers there. A senior officer, Debashish Sen, will travel to Silicon Valley in California to draw investments too.
Since Ms Banerjee will be away along with her top officials till September 28, she has set up a Group of Ministers headed by Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to run the government collectively in her absence. A special committee of officers has also been set up to ensure smooth functioning.
The 2018 edition of the Bengal Business Summit witnessed manufacturing and infrastructure emerge as the top draw, with nearly 72 per cent of the commitments coming from these sectors. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises were the second major draw, at 24 per cent. Hospitality and Tourism, IT and ITes, Health, Education and Skill Development were the other preferred sectors.
According to the Bengal government, more than 32 countries and over 4,000 delegates participated in the event.