October 5, 2015
WB CM attends the India-Bhutan Business Conclave at Thimphu in Bhutan
West Bengal Chief Minister Ms Mamata Banerjee today attended the India-Bhutan Business Conclave at Thimphu in Bhutan, during the first day of her visit to the country.
Present at the Conclave were the Ambassador of India in Bhutan and the Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs, Bhutan Government among many other dignitaries.
Ambassador of India in Bhutan hailed the visit by the West Bengal Chief Minister in Bhutan as historic. He said that the GDP growth rate of Bengal is well over 10%, higher than the National GDP.
The Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs, Government of Bhutan addressed the West Bengal Chief Minister as Didi and said that he was extremely happy to have her in Bhutan. He said that Didi has endeared herself to the people of Bhutan and is popular for her simplicity & humility.
The West Bengal Chief Minister started her address at India-Bhutan Business Conclave by greeting the audience in Dzongkha language. She said that Bhutan is a beautiful country, the air being fresh and the people humble and simple.
The West Bengal Chief Minister said that she was happy to know that the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan had studied in Dr Graham’s Homes in Bengal.
She urged people of Bhutan to consider Bengal as their sweet home and said that the Bhutanese people were her brothers and sisters. She said that Bengal will partner with Bhutan and will do business with the country.
The West Bengal Chief Minister informed that she has requested the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan to make Andal a stoppage for Bhutan Air and the West Bengal Government will give tax free fuel.
Bengal is the gateway to North East and other Asian countries like Singapore. There can be a partnership in education, culture, the WB CM said. She said that there can be partnerships in agro industry, food processing, MSME.
The WB CM said that out of 1.3 lakh tourists to Bhutan, 68,000 are Indians. She informed that the Bengal Govt has started LTC programme for Govt employees to visit Bhutan. The West Bengal Chief Minister urged that a tourism corridor be started. Buddhist circuits can be developed, she suggested.
The West Bengal Chief Minister informed that a Business Corridor involving Bhutan-Bangladesh-India-Nepal has been proposed and requested the four countries to sign the memorandum in Bengal. She informed that she had invited the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bhutan and the Hon’ble Minister of Economic Affairs to attend the North Bengal Business Conclave. She also proposed that the Government of Bhutan and Bengal set up a steering committee to promote industry and businesses.
Market is ready, business is ready, intention is clear, now a decision must be made, said the West Bengal Chief Minister.