Kolkata: The fifth edition of the annual Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) is starting today. BGBS draws delegates from all over the world and of course, from the top companies in India. Bengal Global Business Summit is now among the largest trade and investment summits in the country.
A lot of the success owes itself to the tireless effort of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in promoting Bangla as the best investment destination in India. Every year, she makes it a point to visit a few countries to personally meet government and business leaders from several countries. Last year, she held extensive discussions in Germany and Italy.
This year, 35 countries are participating in the summit. Among the 35 are 12 countries which have been given the honour of being ‘partner countries’ – Germany, Italy, the UK, Luxembourg, France, Japan, Poland, Republic of Korea, Czech Republic, UAE, Australia and Finland.
At BGBS 2019, Luxembourg is the partner country in any business summit in India for the first time. There will be country session on Luxembourg. Its ambassador to India is leading the delegation, which comprise, among others, CEOs of six big companies – Paul Wurth, Rotarex Engineering, Boson Energy, Ceratizit, Amer-Sil Ketex and the law firm, Arendt & Medernach.
There will be a special country session on the United Kingdom too. There will be a joint session on start-ups as well. Britain is open to partnerships with Bengal as a gateway for the east and north-east. The UK’s trade commissioner to India is leading the country’s delegation, which has several heads of organisations and CEOs, like those from UK Research & Innovation, OxSight Ltd. and UK India Business Council (UKIBC).
A 22-member delegation from France is attending the summit, being led by its ambassador to India. The delegation also has the minister counsellor and head of the regional economic department of the embassy of France in India, and consul general of France in Kolkata. Top-level representatives from 14 French companies, including Accor, Alstom, Bassetti, Capgemini, Decathlon and Schneider Electric Company, are part of the delegation.
This year, for the first time, there will be trade delegations from Latin American and Caribbean countries – in fact, from 18 of them. These countries are grouped as the trade bloc, LAC. These 18 are among the 35 participating countries.
Representatives from some of these had attended the conference, ‘India-LAC Business Cooperation: Special focus on West Bengal’ in Kolkata last November. There are a number of core competency areas that Bengal and the LAC countries have in common, like leather, textiles manufacturing, information technology (IT), etc.
Last time, there were a little over 4,000 delegates in total, including those from 32 countries. This time, with 35 countries participating and more organisations from India, this record will be broken.
The Bengal Global Business Summit is showing the way to the rest of the country on how a regional business summit can become the darling of the industry.