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i-maritime Newsletter

US maritime tech cos' delegation in Bengal - 2012-02-20

Taking a renewed interest in West Bengal, the US trade community on Friday brought a delegation of maritime technology companies after a span of nearly three years since the Singur crisis in 2008.

While the delegation was hopeful of the immense opportunities in the port sector; they remained non-committal about the investment climate in the State.

Mr Dean R. Thompson, the Consul General, while praising the recently concluded ‘Bengal Leads' business-to-business initiative organised by the State government, said that there was a need “to benchmark” the State against other Indian States.

“It (West Bengal) needs to look at what the competition is for these investment dollars, where the investments are going and then benchmark themselves against those places and try to figure out ways to make the State ready,” he told media persons on the sidelines of a seminar, Ports and Maritime Technology Trade Mission.

Asked if the investment climate in the State had improved post-Singur and a change in government, he said that companies would make their own decisions about the “opportunities” in any given State.

“Trying to pinpoint any one thing is not a useful game,” he said when asked about the former Counsel General, Ms Beth Payne's previous comments (in 2008) that the US India Business Council (USIBC) had changed its mind after the Singur problem became evident.

Responding to a query about the land policies in the State, Mr Thomson said that policies are to be determined by the government in “dialogue with the citizens of the State.”

“We would encourage the government to engage in dialogue with the business communities to determine how you look forward to promoting a positive business environment which would create a positive investment environment.”

The Consul General also stressed that attracting investments is not just about creating a good environment for international investors, foreign investments or foreign trade. It also requires the creation of a “very good dynamic business environment.” Once the business environment is in place, opportunities will start to flow, he added.

Source: Hindu Business Line