West Bengal should not expect any immediate gains from Mamata Banerjee’s Singapore visit “but going two years forward something should happen,” RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group chairman Sanjiv Goenka told the media after his return from the trip.
Goenka, who was among the high-profile delegates headed by the chief minister, said the visit was the first step towards creating an impression about West Bengal. “No one had earlier marketed the state in this way. It is the first step towards creating an impression, creating an image and creating a mood for investment in the state. The chief minister was superb. She spoke from her heart. It is one of the best delegations I have been to and going two years forward something will happen,” Goenka said.
Three major agreements were signed, including that of Singapore-based GIC-invested PE fund’s and Kolkata based realtor Hiland Group’s agreement for a Kolkata Riverside development project, worth an estimated Rs 200 crore. The Singapore-based PE fund is sponsored by HDFC Property domiciled in Singapore.
Two other pacts were signed between Keventer Agro of Kolkata and InfraCo Asia of Singapore, for a food park at Dankuni worth around Rs 1,000 crore, and between Axsys Technologies and Compass Energy of Singapore for a collaboration on solutions in ship building and oil and gas exploration. The Axsys-Compass combine is expected to generate 800 additional employments in West Bengal in next two years, a West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation statement said.
Axsys is a Singapore-based engineering design and project management company operating globally from Singapore, Thailand, Europe and the US. It caters mainly to the oil and gas sector.
The chief minister has also declared that WBIDC would open a nodal office at Singapore to facilitate investment, while it would send its bureaucrats to take training at Lee Kuan Yew Centre at Singapore. She had also said that a Business Focus Centre, would also become operational in Kolkata in 18 months.
Goenka felt that such agreements could start translating into actions in the next two months. He said there were clear identification of opportunities and the delegation found more than expected. “We went to Singapore with an expectation and what we found was more than we expected,” Goenka said, adding that representatives from Tata Hitachi and Mitsubishi also shared their experience of doing business in West Bengal with entrepreneurs of Singapore.