Bengal’s 6th global business summit to begin today

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is unlikely to attend  Wednesday’s inaugural session of the sixth Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), the State Government’s yearly marquee event to attract investment. The two-day BGBS aimed at attracting investment will start in Kolkata from Wednesday. Though there was no statement from the Government quarters, speculation about the unlikelihood of Modi attending the programme became rife with his name not figuring in the list of invitees.

Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had invited the Prime Minister during her visit to Delhi in November 2021. She personally disclosed about her invitation to the Prime Minister saying Modi had accepted the invite.

Notwithstanding, sources said his presence in the summit was uncertain as he had prescheduled programmes in Gujarat on April 18 to 20. “We still expect his presence … let us see whether he comes,” said an official refusing to comment on why his name would not figure in the list of invites.

According to sources this year’s mega show would witness large contingents of business delegations coming from many countries including the United Kingdom and Russia, the two countries which are standing on opposite poles regarding the Ukrainian conflict.According to Government sources “we are likely to witness the biggest-ever UK delegation of 49 senior figures in attendance.” An official release from the British Deputy High Commission said that the “British Deputy High Commission and British Council Kolkata will bring the biggest-ever UK delegation to the BGBS.”

The Chief Minister earlier said that earlier this week that businessmen and industrialists from 14 nations will attend the summit this time.

Apart from the foreign delegations who’s who from the Indian industry were likely to attend the programme. According to officials, top industrialists like Mukesh Ambani and Gautam Adani were likely to attend the programme.Incidentally BGBS 2019 — the last one organized by the State Government before things were discontinued on account of corona pandemic — had attracted participation of over 4000 delegates including 450 international delegates from 35 CountriesState Government sources said that the main focus of the business meet would agri-business, mining, IT-ITES, and Tourism.The BGBS is being held amid complaints of a massive draught in industrial investment in Bengal ever since the new Trinamool Congress Government assumed power in 2011.Opposition parties have often complained that criminalization of politics, law and order problems and the TMC’s anti-industry movement during Singur-Nandigram days that forced industry captains Tatas to leave Bengal is one of the main reasons why the industrialists have been avoiding Bengal despite signing investment proposals worth thousands of crores.