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Mamata Banerjee embarks on six-day visit to Singapore

IANS 17 Aug 2014, 7:18:03 AM IST
Kolkata: In a bid to tap big ticket investment for the industry-starved eastern state, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Sunday embarks on a six-day trip to Singapore, where meetings with the sovereign city-state's Prime Minister and Foreign Minister are highlights on her itinerary.

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

Finance Minister Amit Mitra, top bureaucrats, and showbiz personalities Bengali superstar Dev and movie producer Srikanta Mohta are part of the team, which will return on August 22.

Mitra recently said the Chief Minister will call on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Foreign Minister K Shanmugam.

He said the industry captains are paying for their own expenses.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC) government's failure to tap a good number of big-ticket investments has drawn flak from industrialists, economists and political opponents alike.

The Chief Minister hopes to turn the tide with a successful trip to the South East Asian island country, regarded as one of the world's major commercial hubs.

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, and eco-tourism. The financial sector is also in her radar.