Thursday, March 02, 2006

Investments in West Bengal

Though West Bengal has a communist govt. and the leaders here are skeptic about the FDI issue, the flow of investment in West Bengal is rising, thanks to some solo effort by Buddhadeb Bhattacharya. The investment figures proposed in short term shows there is no dearth of people pouring money in West Bengal, be them Indians or foreigners. One major achievement the current govt cherish to achieve, is to secure some investments from China. Given the fact that Bhattacharya wants Bengal to run in China way, there are still enormous roadblocks in the way of investments coming to India. Asia Times quotes :
West Bengal, located (despite the name) in the far east of India, has been on a strong growth trajectory of late, having notched up substantial investments to the tune of US$6 billion (Rs 266.8 billion) between 1991 and 2004. The sector that received the highest amount of investment during this period was chemicals and petrochemicals, where the investment inflow was to the tune of $2.2 billion, followed by iron and steel at $1.9 billion. West Bengal has racked up the fastest rate of economic growth in India, both in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) and per capita income. According to data from the Central Statistical Office, in the years since 1993-94, West Bengal has had the highest national growth rate, at 8.55% with Karnataka's 7.29% well behind. Looking at the 1990s only, West Bengal was the second-fastest-growing state in India.

According to TIDCO site, West Bengal received Rs. 89bn(US$2bn) FDI approval between '91 and '02, which is sixth largest amount among Indian states. West Bengal has a State Domestic Product of Rs. 1.02tn($23bn), which makes it the third largest productiove state in India.

China factor
The news source has also given a list of Bengal-China mutual interests in business :

West Bengal products demanded in China
  • plastic (waste and otherwise)
  • agricultural products and processed food
  • organic chemicals
  • ores, slag, ash
  • machinery
  • cotton textiles and yarn
  • software training and development
  • gems and jewelry
  • hides and skin

    Chinese products demanded in West Bengal
  • machinery
  • woven and knit apparel
  • footwear
  • toys and sports equipment
  • mineral and fuel oil
  • furniture and bedding

  • Outcome
    And the results are encouraging as well ...
    1. Salim Group of Indonesia investments - Mahabharat Motors will have an initial investment of Rs.10 billion ($226 million), the township is a Rs.21.56 billion ($488 million) project.
    2. Bhattacharya also opened a spanking Rs.180 million ($4.06 million) food park in the vicinity that would directly benefit the farmers who have been made out to be the victims of the chief minister's pro-investment policies.
    3. Kolkata-based Motijug Group, the West Bengal government and Uralaz of Russia, will soon start assembling heavy-duty and high-capacity trucks, dump trucks and tippers at its manufacturing facility that is being set up at Haldia at an investment of Rs.5.5 billion ($124.2 million).
    4. Ambani signed the memorandum of understanding with the West Bengal government for the 50-acre IT institute at Kalyani, two hours from here, that will have an outlay Rs.1 billion ($22.5 million).
    5. In an unprecedented move, Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) is spending Rs.15 billion ($338.7 million) in West Bengal to fund generous retirement packages for employees of loss-making state-owned companies.
    Some more news in the Bengali newspaper about Chinese Knowledge based industries investing in Kolkata.

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