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Focus key to draw capital

An internationally-benchmarked trade fair ground and a sharp focus on a specific industry segment are a must to help Calcutta attract foreign investment, according to the organisers of the world’s largest industry trade show.

“The state’s economic potential has scarcely been tapped and a top-class trade fair centre alone can make a huge difference to the business climate,” Wolfgang Pech, the senior vice-president of Deutsche Messe AG, the apex body of German trade fairs, said on Wednesday.

Pech was in town to market Hannover Messe 2011 (April 4-8), the largest umbrella industry event, featuring 13 trade fairs. It attracts over 6,000 exhibitors and more than 200,000 visitors from around the world.

“We have already kicked off our satellite trade shows in Mumbai and Bangalore and would love to do so in Calcutta, since there’s so much possibility here. However, the Bengal government needs to identify and focus on one particular segment, like Pune has done on automobiles,” Pech added.

Deutsche Messe AG is also keen to provide a platform for the “abundant high-skill talent pool” that the city offers through institutes like IIT Kharagpur and IIM Calcutta, and even welcome a delegation of students and academicians in Hannover.

“The Hannover Messe, which is also one of the largest job markets in the world, can provide great opportunities to the city’s resourceful student population,” Pech said.

The organisers expect around 150 Indian participants in next year’s edition, with a fair sprinkling from Calcutta and the east. “We have traditionally had extremely encouraging participation from Calcutta and visits to Hannover Messe have thrown up some significant collaborations, particularly in the SMEs domain,” said B.G. Roy, the regional director of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Calcutta.

The key theme for Hannover Messe 2011 is “smart efficiency”.

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