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Posted on Oct 13, 05:54PM | IBNS
The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Saturday organised North Bengal Conclave here to promote North Bengal in the industrial space.
North Bengal has a strategic location with its neighboring states like Sikkim, Assam, Bihar and the International Boundaries with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh.
The region has witnessed substantial development in the recent years.
Against this backdrop, CII in association with West Bengal Department of Tourism, organized North Bengal Conclave on Friday and Saturday in West Bengal's Siliguri town.
North Bengal Conclave was inaugurated by state North Bengal Development Minister Gautam Deb.
Addressing the gathering, Deb said that this forum would definitely promote the region in the development space.
He said that North Bengal is endowed with a magnificent view of the Himalayas, dense forests and wild life sanctuaries.
"North Bengal possesses huge potential of growth and development. Through industrialization economic growth can be accelerated in North Bengal," said Deb.
He stated that the region consists of six districts and there is tremendous growth potential in the districts of North Bengal in terms of small and medium enterprises (SMEs); as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
"The SME sector includes Agro and Food Processing, Tourism, Forest based industry, Animal husbandry, IT and ITes, Handicrafts, Jute besides others.
"The SME sector could play an important role in sustaining economic growth, increasing trade, generating employment, product innovation, fostering new entrepreneurship and ancillarisation of industries," he said.
Dasho Tsering Wangda, Consul General, Royal Bhutanese Consulate, said that North Bengal has not yet reaped its full potential. Siliguri is the immediate business centre of the Bhutanese.
He stressed on strengthening ties between India and Bhutan.
Abida Islam, Bangladesh Dy. High Commission, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, stated that the economy of Bangladesh has maintained a growth rate of 6pc on an average.
"Trade and investment are the pillars of economic growth. Over the years, India and Bangladesh has maintained a long and cordial relation. She stated that during the last three years significant developments has taken place between India and Bangladesh," said Islam.
She stressed on the need for improved facilities for the increase in bilateral trade.
R K Agrawal, Chairman , CII Eastern Region; Sudhir Deoras, Deputy Chairman, CII Eastern Region; Harshavardhan Neotia, Past Chairman, CII Eastern Region; Dr R K Agrawal, Chairman, CII North Bengal Zonal Council and Dr Saugat Mukherjee, Regional Director, CII Eastern Region were also present.
CII Report on Investment Opportunities in North Bengal and an Approach Paper for Floriculture Hub in Kalimpong and Mirik were unveiled at the forum.