Finance Minister Arun Jaitley says, West Bengal has to re-emerge as industrial center

Kolkata(ANI): Describing West Bengal as India’s gateway to South East Asia, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the greatest challenge that lies ahead for the state is to re-emerge as an industrial center. “West Bengal has several strengths. It’s strategically located, it’s one of the most important cities of India and perhaps the most important city of eastern India. It’s our gateway to Southeast Asia,” Jaitley said while speaking at the ‘Bengal Global Business Summit 2015’.

“The state itself has a whole history of intellectual capital. The state is well equipped with water, it is conditionally strong in agriculture. It has produced some of the best minds. It has historically some of the largest industries of India. Unfortunately, many of them has been shift out and now our challenge is how to re-establish as an industrial center once again,” he added.

Expressing his delight for being invited at the event, Jaitley said: “The strength of India’s democracy is that even though in a multi-party democracy, the governments of different shades will rule at the Centre and in the states yet there are larger national causes for which they all stand together.”

“Economic development of India and economic development of the states is one such larger national cause for which we all have a shared vision. If the shared vision is to strengthen, I have not the least doubt that India’s growth as also West Bengal’s growth would be much larger,” he added.

The Finance Minister further said that almost every state in India is realizing the importance of creating an investment friendly environment and encouraging investment in the state. “The basis of our growth has to be our ability to attract investment,” he added.

Jaitley emphasized that there is a need to create an environment where we not merely attract investment but we also promise profitable return of that investment. “Industry will expect a return on investment and, therefore, our entire environment has to be such that it ensures that investment will lead to greater investment,” he added.

The fourth edition of the two-day annual investment summit by the West Bengal Government began today. Around 500 delegations from India and aboard are expected to attend the investment extravaganza. The state government is attempting to use ‘Bengal Global Business Summit 2015’ platform to showcase West Bengal as an ideal investment destination.