The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Business bucks up for consular meet tee-off

After teeing off with a bang and making an even bigger splash in its second foray to the fairways, the third edition of the Consular Corps of Kolkata golf tournament returns to the Tollygunge Club greens next month amidst the familiar drone of biz buzz.

The meet, which has gained in popularity over the past two years and succeeded in wrap-selling Calcutta as an investment destination more than any government initiative, will again aim to mix business with birdies when diplomats and CEOs line up their puts from November 21 to 23.

“There is tremendous interest generated around the meet and we are expecting 80-100 participants from overseas, including ambassadors, trade commissioners and industry captains. However, we would like to restrict the field to a maximum of 55 teams this year,” says honorary consul of Finland Satish Kapur, also honorary director of the Consular Corps.

The highlight of this year’s meet will be a business conference and a lunch to be hosted by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on the second day of the meet. The conference, expected to be attended by “the decision-makers in the corporate spectrum” of the participating nations, will be chaired by German consul-general in Calcutta Erhard Zander.

Germany is expected to have a strong participation in this year’s meet, with a large business delegation of around 40 people, according to the organisers. An encouraging French field is also on the cards, with honorary consul M.K. Jalan leaving for France on Thursday to interface with industry chiefs there. “We will be looking at gems and jewellery, food-processing and engineering as the thrust areas for French participation, and I am hopeful of getting a good response,” Jalan said.

Not just Germany and France, Denmark, which had sent a large delegation to the first edition of the meet, and Japan are both expected to have a big presence. A top industrialist from Israel, “who controls seven per cent of the country’s GDP”, is also slated to be part of the meet. “The scale of organisation has been bigger and the response better, which goes to show that Calcutta is getting larger on the world radar,” observes a WBIDC official.

The tournament, to be sponsored by Heritage and managed by Tiger Sports Management, will be played in the Texas Scramble format with four members to each team. The organisers expect a field of around 200-225, including top industrialists in the city, chairmen of PSUs and even foreign press correspondents through their respective consulate offices to provide international media coverage.

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