The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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West Asia hope for Bengal

Nilangshu Dey (left) with Kallol Datta in Calcutta on Friday. Picture by Kishor Roy Chowdhury

Calcutta, Jan. 3: A delegation comprising members from 30 overseas corporate houses, mostly from Dubai, Sharjah, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, will come to Bengal to explore business opportunities.

The Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Non-Resident Overseas Association of Bengal (NROAB) are organising a two-day conference from January 9. The sectors in focus are food processing, engineering and manufacturing along with service segments such as health, education, hospitality and real estate.

“Officials of various foreign retail chains such as Lulu Hypermarket, Safari group, Naser Bin Khaled Shoprite, Quality group and others will engage in discussions with various state government departments. They are interested in setting up food processing units for 100 per cent export to West Asian and African countries,” said Nilangshu Dey, president of the NROAB.

Saudi Arabian company Alumasa Group, which is engaged in the manufacture of steel and aluminium, is scouting for investment opportunities in the state.

Dey added that the first two editions of the conference, which were held in Doha and Dubai, had not been successful in drawing investments to Bengal. Therefore, the event is being relocated to Calcutta. “This will facilitate greater engagement with the state government,” he said.

Bengal Chamber president Kallol Datta said such conclaves were crucial at a time new investments had dried up. “The state has enormous potential. We are expecting around 50 NRI investors to join the conclave. Some overseas nationals, including those from Arab countries, are also expected to participate. Most of them are coming to this part of the country for the first time and yet have expressed their interest in doing business,” he said.