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Buddhadeb's USA visit called off

kolkata Updated: Apr 10, 2007 19:58 IST
Buddha backs out and is sending Nirupam Sen to USA

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s much-hyped visit to USA has been called off. Instead, Buddha is sending State Industries and Commerce Minister Nirupam Sen to America in June this year.

Nirupam Sen has his job cut out. Sen will not only sell mangoes to the Americans, but will also try to strike business deals with Boeing, automobile giants and captains of chemical industries during his visit to Washington, Seattle, Detroit, Arizona and Atlanta.

Buddha’s office has officially conveyed to the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce and US-India Business Council officials – coordinating the visit by the West Bengal dignitaries to the USA this June – that only after Nirupam Sen confirms the business deals with the American companies that the CM would travel to sign the final agreements.

"Nirupam Sen’s visit to America has been tied with the US-India Business Council’s Mango Festival that would be held in Washington on June 27. The possibility of mango export to the US assumes commercial as well as symbolic significance. The access to the global marketplace will benefit Indian farmers and consumers, together with their counterparts," said USIBC’s President Rom Somers.

The Mango Festival in Washington, held on the 32nd anniversary of the USIBC, would give Nirupam Sen ample opportunity to interact and negotiate with major international business captains in the sidelines of the meet.

Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, Boeing CEO Jim McNerney, CII’s Tarun Das, Wockhardt CEO Hari Korakiawala, Warburg Pincus president Chip Kaye, AIG vice-chairman Frank Wisner, Cohen Group’s chairman William S Cohen, BGR International’s president Robert Blackwill, Lockheed Martin’s president, Mckinsey’s Rajat Gupta and Chevron’s Mike Wirth are also attending the business festival.

It is learnt that Maharashtra with its Alfonso variety of mango has won the hearts of the Americans, so this time Nirupam Sen would pitch in for the Bengal varieties like Fajli, Surma Fajli, Langra, Himsagar, Amrapalli, etc.

A couple of months back, information leaked from the CM’s secretariat at Writers’ Buildings that Buddha – impressed upon by an American business delegation and US Consul General Henry V Jardine about the business potentials in the USA – had agreed to visit the North American country.

But faced with trouble at home, Buddha has decided to stay back. Now Nirupam Sen would carry out the business agenda that the CM has already fixed for him. Buddha wants Nirupam to talk to the Boeing officials and ask them to set up a workshop in Kolkata. Sen would meet the officials of General Motors and Ford and invite them to set up their plants in Kolkata.

Finally, Nirupam Sen would also meet the business captains of the American chemical industry and invite them to invest in Bengal’s forthcoming chemical hub and in the downstream units of Haldia Petrochemicals in Haldia.

Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb and Commerce and Industries Secretary Sabyasachi Sen would accompany Nirupam Sen to USA. This would be Nirupam’s second visit to a superpower nation. Last year, he led a business delegation to tap the market in China.

"US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, US Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez and Union Commerce Minister Kamal Nath would also be present in the Global Summit being organised by the US-India Busines Council," informed Nivedita Mehra of US Chamber of Commerce.