Bengal means business – The significance of Mamata Banerjee’s Bhutan trip

Agnivo Niyogi | Thimphu

Describing her visit to Bhutan as an “amazing experience,” West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday said she had placed a proposal for setting up corridors to enhance business, economic and cultural ties in the region.

“It was an amazing experience to visit the great country of Bhutan and we expressed our deep gratitude to His Highness and his Royal Government,” the Chief Minister said.

The CM, who is on a five-day high-level visit to Bhutan today left for Paro.

Her 15-member delegation also comprised several industrialists. In a meeting with the PM earlier this week, the CM had consented to Bengal being used as a corridor for Bhutan to export potatoes and dolomite.

The issue of flooding in north Bengal was taken up in her meeting with the King; His Majesty assured the Bengal CM that a committee will be set up to investigate whether flooding of north Bengal is because of natural or technical reasons.

The Chief Minister said that a series of discussions happened across various sectors from agro-marketing to tourism and transport. She said the King was extremely happy to have learned that Bengal Govt has started an LTC scheme for employees wherein a trip to Bhutan would be included.

Such was the importance of this visit that the Prime Minister visited the CM at least five times, out of schedule and protocol, even driving her to the hotel personally.

Clearly, Mamata Banerjee won over Bhutan with her simplicity and sent out the message that Bengal means business.