Economy

Poor investment climate hurting Bengal, says Ronen Sen

Our Bureau Kolkata | Updated on October 13, 2012 Published on October 13, 2012

Ronen Sen

Former Indian Ambassador to the US, Ronen Sen, said on Saturday that the lack of an eco-system is hindering West Bengal’s prospects in attracting investment. He was also critical of the Mamata Banerjee-led State Government’s opposition to the Teesta water treaty.

“Over the last one decade, I failed to find people who are interested to focus in Bengal. I honestly believe there is a very good potential in terms of skills in the State. But, everywhere there is a lack of eco-system,” Sen said.

He was speaking at a panel discussion on the public private partnership model organised by the Kolkata Chapter of the American Chamber of Commerce.

According to Sen, absence of domestic investments in the State will make it an uphill task to attract foreign investors. The prolonged lack of investment is likely to lead to a situation where the State’s demographic dividend will turn out to be a “demographic disaster”.

“If domestic investors are not coming to West Bengal, no foreign investors will be interested,” he said.

Criticising the State Government’s opposition to the signing of the Teesta Water Treaty with Bangladesh, the former diplomat said, the treaty “could have improved” the bilateral relationship between Bangladesh and India.

“A transit-connectivity between the two countries is held up because of the Teesta Water Treaty,” Sen added.

On Reforms

On the recent measures to attract FDI in multi-brand retail, aviation and insurance, Sen said, “It is positive if you have some consensus. Unless we get our economy moving, our security is going to be affected. We should make decisions.”

Responding to popular concerns he said, “When foreign companies come to India through the foreign direct investment route, they are not going to replicate their business models in India.”

> ayan.pramanik@thehindu.co.in

Published on October 13, 2012
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