West Bengal's chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, on Monday said her government is going to invest $15 billion in the next five years to improve infrastructure to encourage investments.
Not only will it help to construct roads, flyovers, ports, power and several other projects but it will also boost industrial development and investor confidence.
"In the coming years, around $15 billion will be invested in West Bengal to improve infrastructure", she said during her address at the Horasis event organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce here.
Her pitch for investment evolved around the strategic importance of the state in terms of geography.
"(West) Bengal is a gateway to Asia and South-East Asia. From Bengal, you can nurture Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, north-east India and East India", she said adding that international locations like Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore can be tapped from the presence in West Bengal.
"Even China and Japan are not so far (from West Bengal)", she said.
She supported her statement by citing the availability of the huge talent pool in the state.
"Since four years, we are the number one in India. Seventeen new universities and 46 new colleges have come up", Banerjee said while making a pitch for the availability of talent.
Banerjee also positioned her state as an investment-friendly destination citing that the ease of doing business has improved.
The fourth season of the Bengal Global Business Summit is scheduled to be held on January 16-17 next year and the chief minister has been actively campaigning to bring in big-ticket investment in the state. Apart from going to Mumbai recently to confirm the participation of Reliance Industries' chairman Mukesh Ambani and JSW supremo, Sajjan Jindal, she also went to the UK to convince steel magnate L N Mittal to attend the mega event.
Additionally, Banerjee said as many as 30 countries have confirmed their participation in the upcoming business summit and agreements with the Oxford University and Edinburgh University are likely to be concluded.
However, she admitted that the legacy issues left behind by the former Left Front government continue to plague the perception about the state but added that it is changing now.
Kolkata-based industrialists like Rudra Chatterjee, executive director at Luxmi Tea, is also of the similar opinion that the perception about West Bengal as an industry-hostile destination needs to change for the state to attract investment.