January 20, 2017
Day 1 Highlights: Bengal Global Business Summit 2017
The first day of the Bengal Global Business Summit 2017 received accolades from the President of India on Bengal emerging as an investment destination.
11 AM: The day started with former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly making an impassioned appeal to investors to tap into the potential of Bengal. It was followed by an AV presentation on the investment opportunities in the State.
11:30 AM: Various captains of industries (YP Modi, Sanjeev Goenka, Kishore Biyani, Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Pankaj Munjal) shared their experience of running businesses in Bengal.
Sanjeev Goenka announced investment worth Rs 10000 crore in Bengal over the next few years in FMCG sector. Rakesh Bharti Mittal announced investment worth Rs 3-4000 crore more in Bengal in the next three years. YK Modi announced investments close to one billion rupees in coal bed methane project in Bengal in the next 6 years. TCG Chairman Purnendu Chatterjee announced investments close to Rs 1000 crore for HPL expansion. Hero Motors Group Chairman & MD Pankaj Munjal announced announced investments close to Rs 450 crore for cycle manufacturing.
GAIL has also decided invest Rs 6000 Crore in Bengal in the next 2-3 years including gas pipeline project.
12:00 PM: This was followed by the address by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Read her full speech here.
12:30 PM: During the plenary session, the Hon’ble President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, congratulated the Chief Minister for moving ahead despite legacies of the past. He hoped when the delegates will be go back, they will be taking a part of Bengal back with them. Bengal has truly emerged as an investment destination; the presence of so many delegates is a proof of it, he said.
He later tweeted:
“Bengal Global Business Summit showcases investment opportunities in West Bengal. Growth in State GDP and revenue buoyancy of West Bengal has been impressive. Large participation in the forum, including from 29 countries shows level of interest in West Bengal amongst investors.”
1:00 PM: Delegates from partner countries and other foreign delegates graced the stage and shared their views on the opportunities for business ties with Bengal.
3 PM: The second half of the first day witnessed a Plenary Session on Start Ups and Entrepreneurship. Startups that were present in the session included big names like Naukri and Foodpanda. The session was moderated by Mohandas Pai. Five home-grown startups of Bengal were showcased in the session.
During the session, Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that the Government wants to encourage startups but we must ensure the money does not reach only a select few. There must be privacy in data bank, she said. Whatever business people are doing, it must be fully protected, she said. The Government wants young entrepreneurs to come up and work for the betterment of the people, she said.
Bengal Finance and Industry Minister, while speaking at the session stressed on critical thinking and innovation that is bankable. “Be a startup, be disruptive, but how do you engage common people, how do you include them into mainstream,” he asked the entrepreneurs present in the hall. He asked the people not take a job, but be an entrepreneur and create jobs. “This is the Bengal everybody wants to see,” he said.
5 PM: The last session of the day was an ‘International Multi-Country Session’ which saw representatives from Italy, Romania, Netherlands, Poland, Norway, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Australia, Belgium and other countries.
The Ambassador of Italy to India praised the economic and infrastructure growth in Bengal.
The delegate from Belgium focused on three sectors where Bengal and Belgium can cooperate: trading hubs, agriculture, river tourism.
The delegate from Russian Foreign Ministry announced a Russian company is planning to invest in Bengal, in chemical sector.
The delegate from the Silesia province of Poland discussed opportunities for partnership between Bengal and Silesia
The delegate from Bahrain pitched for closer business ties with Bengal.
The delegation from South Korea invited to visit the Bengal Chief Minister to visit their country.