North Bengal development minister Udayan Guha and Siliguri mayor Gautam Deb on Friday offered land, natural resources and manpower for setting up industries in the region.
Both were present at a seminar hosted by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry here and said discussions held at the event should translate into investments.
“There is no dearth of land and manpower in north Bengal. Various agricultural produces are grown here and there is a huge prospect for processing industries. We want private industrial units to come up in this region and believe that the discussions which are held here will pave the way for fresh investments,” Guha said.
In the past few years, a number of MSME units came up across north Bengal, especially in and around Siliguri. Around 10 private industrial parks are under construction and more units will come up there, said representatives of local trade bodies.
The mayor has pointed out that connectivity has largely improved in the region of late.
“Road, rail, and air connectivity has improved a lot. The state has provided land for the expansion of the Bagdogra airport and a number of new road projects have been taken up. Also, there will be a major infrastructure development at the New Jalpaiguri station. Entrepreneurs should think of investing here because of its geographical location,” said Deb. Considered the gateway to the entire Northeast, north Bengal also shares borders with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal.
Deb, a former tourism minister, highlighted the initiatives taken by the Mamata Banerjee government to develop new destinations for tourists in the past 11 years.
“New infrastructure has been created at these locations by the government. We are taking initiatives to increase the footfall of tourists and want private groups to come here and set up accommodations and other facilities,” he added.
Representatives of BCC& I, a prominent trade body in Bengal, said they were taking efforts to accelerate growth in business across the region.
“We want to encourage investments in north Bengal and would provide all help to those who intend to invest here. Some of our members have invested here and we want to share their experiences through interactions so that others can have an idea of north Bengal,” said Angana Guha Roy Chowdhury, the assistant director general of BCC&I.