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Calcutta on Terminator’s India map
- US business and California boss on horizon

Calcutta, Sept. 24: If Prakash Karat throws his weight around, the Bengal CPM might bank on the Terminator for some muscle.

Arnold Schwarzenegger could be here in January.

Suja Lowenthal, a councillor from Long Beach, California, leading a team of three, said Calcutta could be on Arnold’s itinerary if he makes it to India early next year.

The star of Hollywood blockbusters such as the Terminator series and True Lies is the California governor.

Lowenthal, who is of Indian origin, is trying to organise a business delegation to Calcutta around January, coinciding with Arnold’s likely visit.

“We had thought of bringing a 15-member top business delegation here in November. However, we are now trying to push it back to January so that it coincides with the governor’s tour,” she said today.

Arnold’s India trip was originally scheduled for November, but had to be pushed back for compulsions at home.

Lowenthal is here with William Allen, the chief executive of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, and Vance Baugham, the president of the World Trade Center Association.

They called on industries minister Nirupam Sen today. They will meet chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and mayor Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharyya tomorrow. “We have invited minister Sen to visit us. We will also invite the CM tomorrow,” she said.

Lowenthal praised the state’s leadership for steps to develop business and industry in Bengal.

Asked if the Left’s opposition to the Indo-US nuclear deal could be a deterrent to business ties, she said: “We have to keep business out of politics. Our industries see India as a great opportunity.”

California is one of the largest business destinations in the US. Its ports handle 43 per cent of the country’s imports.

“China is our largest trading partner,” Vance Baugham said.

Members of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry made presentations before the trio today. Chamber president S. Radhakrishnan said it would try “matchmaking” between Californian companies and firms here.

“We are focusing on infrastructure, healthcare, tourism, food processing, bio-medicals, port, municipal affairs, environment and renewable energy,” said Allen.

The trio, on a six-day trip to India, will spend four days in Calcutta before leaving for Delhi and Mumbai.

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