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Mamata Banerjee leaves for Singapore to rope in investment

Posted on Aug 18 2014 | IANS

Kolkata, Aug 18 : Expressing hope that talks during her Singapore visit can open new possibilities, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Sunday night urged everyone, especially the media to be positive of her trip which is aimed at roping in investment for the state.

Interacting with mediapersons at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here, the chief minister said "talks and dialogues can open new possibilities".

Asking the media to think positively, she asked them "don't you want development of Bengal?"

Banerjee said she was going on tour abroad after long years. "And that too in an Asian country. Let us be positive about the visit."

In a bid to tap big ticket investment for the industry-starved eastern state, Banerjee flew off on a six-day trip to the sovereign city state around midnight Sunday.

Banerjee is being accompanied by a high-level business delegation comprising heads of several chambers of commerce and industrialists including Sanjuay Budhia in what is her first foreign tour since assuming the reins of the state in 2011.

State Finance Minister Amit Mitra, top bureaucrats, and showbiz personality Bengali superstar Dev are part of the team, which will return Aug 22.

The chief minister is slated to call on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam during the tour.

The visit comes in response to an invitation extended by the Singapore government and Changi Airports International, the latter involved in setting up the Aerotropolis project - involving setting up a new airport along with a township, IT and logistics hub - at Andal of Burdwan district.

Business circles said she is likely to scour investment from sectors like Information Technology and Information Technology Enables Services (ITes), education, entertainment and eco-tourism. The financial sector is also on her radar.

However, the opposition and the a section of the media have already raised questions about the success of the visit.

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