| • Information technology
• Food processing
• Core infrastructure
• Non-conventional energy
Waking up to the fact that golf means business, Writers’ Buildings is keen to tee off swift and strong to carry its Advantage Bengal pitch forward through the fairways and consular channels.
Encouraged by the success of the structured business seminar, which the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) co-hosted with the Consular Corps last winter as part of the diplomats’ golf tournament, the government has swung into early action this time.
A good four months before the meet, state industry minister Nirupam Sen hosted a dinner for the entire fraternity of the city’s consular diplomats on August 10 to pledge “total support” for the birdie-business initiative.
Bolstering the state’s drive to woo investors was IT minister Manab Mukherjee, along with industry secretary Sabyasachi Sen and WBIDC managing director Gopal Krishna.
“We are there to provide any kind of help to industrialists willing to set up base in Bengal,” the industry minister is said to have promised the consular representatives at the reception.
The government has formed a special committee to address any roadblock that an existing or potential investor might face.
R.P. Goenka will steer the high-powered panel with “direct access” to the chief minister, said the consular corps.
“It’s absolutely crucial to change the negative perception of the state and the golf meet provides an excellent opportunity to showcase our areas of strength. We kicked off the image-building exercise last year and hope to accelerate it this time. Once we succeed in doing this, everything else should fall into place,” said industry secretary Sen after a closed-door meeting of the special panel on Monday.
Last year’s tourney had more than 350 consular diplomats and industry representatives from various countries teeing off on the Tollygunge Club greens.
“This time, we would like to keep the focus more specific and invite those who would come to the table with core competence in the areas prioritised by the state,” said Satish Kapur, honorary consul of Finland, a driving force behind the event, along with Danish honorary consul B.P. Bajoria.
Kapur will chair the golf committee of the consular corps meet this year, from December 10 to 12, while French honorary consul M.K. Jalan will pilot the entire event.
US consul-general in Calcutta George Sibley will chair the vital business seminar on December 11.
The P&O Ports project (the port-plus-township in Kulpi) and the HSBC group service centre (set to start up in Saltlec in August 2005) are hailed as “concrete outcomes” of the golf-business combination served up over the past two winters.
And the consular corps is confident of swinging a few more overseas plans Bengal’s way, post-December.