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West Bengal's untold story: An investment destination growing in stature, and significance

Impact Feature     February 4, 2019

A silent economic revolution is underway in Bengal, the land of 'babumoshais', 'bhodroloks' and Tagore. Steeped in rich history and knowledge, Bengal has for long emerged as the cultural capital of India. Today, it is etching its own niche as a preferred investment destination in the country. Backed by favourable demographics, strategic location and a relentless desire for 'parivartan' (change), West Bengal with a gross state domestic product of $155 billion is the 4th largest contributor to India's services GDP and 6th largest contributor to the country's manufacturing GDP. Thanks to the implementation of business-friendly policies and execution, the state's state per capita GDP annual growth rate has more than doubled from 4.8% in 2015-16 to 10.36% in 2017-18.

Steering the state towards an industry-friendly ecosystem, the State has developed numerous industry-specific and multiproduct growth centres and industrial parks with plug and play infrastructure available for investments. All this would be showcased at the much-awaited 'Bengal Global Business Summit 2019' at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, New Town, Kolkata on February 7-8, as the state looks for collaborations spread over a multidimensional spectrum of sectors including Agri-Business, IT & ITeS, MSME & Skills, Hospitality & Tourism, Logistics & Transport, and Infrastructure.

Everybody is coming to Bengal, are you?

The Bengal Global Business Summit, the annual flagship event organized by Government of West Bengal, displays the state's pro-business environment and offers business partnership opportunities to the global community. The event, started in 2015, has struck the right chord with industrialists and the global business magnates, resulting in not only lakhs of crores worth investments but also opening up abundant employment opportunities. For instance, The Bengal Global Business Summit 2018 attracted the participation of over 4000 delegates from across India and 32 countries. A staggering Rs 2.2 lakh crore worth investments were proposed by the industrialists at the flagship event last year.

With a consumer base of around 100 million and over 300 million people covering entire East and North East of India, West Bengal serves as the perfect entry-point to businesses seeking a foothold in South East Asia and ASEAN countries. The state's large talent pool of educated and skilled persons, transparent governance and record of creating & maintaining social and physical infrastructure, has catapulted it to a strong position. At the upcoming event on Feb 7-8, there will be plenary sessions with political dignitaries from India and abroad, top corporates, thought leaders, sectoral sessions to explore business opportunities in focus sectors, as well as country sessions to explore areas of collaboration, and partnership.

G2B - Government to Business

Bengal is open for business. Projects like Shilpa Sathi have a single-window cell, comprising of representatives of various government departments promising faster and efficient clearances from the different departments. Senior officers have been nominated as relationship managers for facilitation of major projects, helping industries experience a high level of comfort in their investment journey in the state.

Industrial and economic initiatives taken up by the government provide ample scope for public-private partnerships to bloom, creating value for the business, meaningful employment for people and boosting the state economy. The upcoming major deep-sea port at Tajpur, the Amritsar Kolkata Industrial Corridor (AKIC) aligned to the Eastern Dedicated Freight Corridor, and national waterways are coming up, which would provide a much needed infrastructural support to ongoing and future business projects. At present, the state has ready infrastructure of over 200 industrial parks/estates covering around 20,000 acres.

There also exists a ready ecosystem of smaller ancillary units in West Bengal, which means work can proceed from day one and without waiting for developing individual vendors. The state has the highest MSME establishments (14% of total establishments in the country) and employs 1.35 crore people. Time is money in business. Recognizing this, the government has mandated timelines for every service related to the inception of the business in MSMEs and large industries.

Know more about the upcoming summit here -

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