Patna, Oct. 30: European Union ambassador João Cravinho said businessmen from the continent would come to Bihar only if they find good opportunities.
Addressing an event organised by Confederation of Indian Industry, he said: “European Union businessmen will not come to Bihar because we say so. They will come if the state’s businessmen show them good business opportunities.”
He was accompanied by ambassadors from Belgium, Hungary, Portugal and Slovenia.
In response to queries by some industrialists as to how EU would help in Bihar’s development, Cravinho said India has been a major recipient of EU’s development assistance that would end in December. He stressed the Union would continue to work with India. Replying to PHD Chamber of Commerce’s Bihar unit chairperson Satyajit Kumar’s query regarding opening of EU’s special cell in Patna to help entrepreneurs, the EU ambassador said: “We don’t visit Bihar much or interact that much with the people here. Earlier, the state had a bad reputation but now things are better. However, it has to go a long way to catch up with its southern counterparts. ”
EU countries have trading missions at Mumbai, Calcutta, Hyderabad and Chennai, he said, adding that if EU opens any cell/unit/branch in a state, it would have to do so in all states. Answering Bihar Chamber of Commerce and Industries chairperson P.K. Agrawal’s query to help the state in setting up a solar plant, Cravinho said a French company has signed an agreement with Bihar State Power (Holding) Company Ltd to set up a solar hybrid biomass power plant in Rohtas. Stating that EU is India’s largest trading partner and intends to remain so in future, he said the union has been going through a crisis and the economies are expected to grow faster in 2013-14. 2011 was best for India as EU’s trade relations in terms of goods and services were very good.
CII Bihar State Council chairperson S.P. Sinha gave a presentation titled “Emerging investment opportunities in Bihar”. He said: “Food processing, agriculture and related industries are the thrust areas in which the state intends to have participation with EU countries.”