After a lacklustre show last year at the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS), the annual event showcasing the state as an investment destination, the coming one is expected to be attended by doyens of industry.
These include steel magnate L N Mittal, Mukesh Ambani, chairman and managing director at Reliance Industries, and Sajjan Jindal, chairman and managing director of the JSW Group. Last year in November, the chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, during her visit to the UK, had invited Mittal and got his confirmation. The same month, she met Ambani in Mumbai and invited him as well.
Jindal, along with son Parth Jindal, is already in the state for the opening of the JSW cement plant Banerjee inaugurated on Monday. The entire Jindal family was present.
Darshan Hiranandani, managing director of H-Energy and Gautam Sashittal, chief executive of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, will also be attending the two-day event starting Tuesday at the City Convention Centre.
Last year, following demonetisation and the state's ruling party, the Trinamool Congress (TMC), taking pole position in making it a national issue, central ministers had given it a miss. This time too, following clashes between TMC and the Bharatiya Janata Party while celebrating Vivekananda's birth anniversary, Union ministers have not confirmed participation. The meet of 2016 had been well represented by central BJP ministers.
With France and Poland being among the partner countries at the 2018 BGBS, a number of foreign companies — including Capgemini, Matiere, Dassault Systemes, Fives Stein, JCDecaux, Kernoes, Decathlon and Schneider — will be participating. The Polish delegation will comprise over a dozen prosperous companies, representing mostly the energy sector. The Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, China, South Korea and the UK are among the countries which will be represented and likely to comprise the bulk of the 3,000-strong dignitaries from abroad. The consul-general of China here, Ma Zhanwu, has said 30 Chinese companies would participate and scout for investment opportunities.
Italy will be participating as a partner country for a second year in a row, with a delegation of at least 30 companies; the sectors most represented will be transport and infrastructure, metals and leather.
The state government had organised a series of interactive sessions on business opportunities in Germany, the UK and The Hague. Delegations had also gone to China and South Korea last October and Thailand in August-September.