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WB to focus on Haldia in US presentations

Haldia, close to a port and a gateway to east and southeast Asia, is likely to be declared a special investment region for petrochemicals.

india Updated: May 28, 2006 16:44 IST
UNI

The proposed chemical hub in Haldia is set to be at the centre stage of discussions when the West Bengal government projects the state as a potential business destination during chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's visit to US.

Haldia, close to a port and a gateway to east and southeast Asia, is likely to be declared a special investment region for petrochemicals and polymers along with Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat.

The state has been striving hard for the chemical hub and held presentations before the Union Chemicals and Fertiliser Ministry for the project. IL&FS, which prepared the presentations, has also promised to provide funds to the Bengal government at a competitive rate for setting up the chemical hub. The presence of HPL, Mitsubishi and IOC makes it a natural choice for a chemical hub.

Senior state government officials-Chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb and Commerce and Industries Secretary Sabyasachi Sen, going to do the ground work before the chief minister's visit, are set to showcase the state's potential, especially in the petrochemicals, during their interaction with 28 top chemical and petro-chemical companies in White Springs, West Virginia.

The officials would have another meeting in Washington with members of the National Association of Manufacturing, which represents all big US companies. Discussions would be held for sectors of leather, steel, engineering and food processing.

Mr Sen said some other states like Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Gujarat have also been invited in the conference. Each state would be given around 15 minutes to project its investment opportunities. "We will make a presentation on the proposed chemical hub at Haldia," Mr Sen said.

The conference is being organised by The NRI Group, which includes Purnendu Chatterjee and Rajat Gupta and is part of the Prime Minister's task force wooing for foreign investments.

Officials from the ministry of chemicals and petrochemicals would attend the conference.

The US consul-general in Kolkata, Henry Jardine, has promised to arrange two more meetings with the US investment commission and the trade administration on June 8 and 9.