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UK keen to invest in Bengal, Cameron invites Mamata to London

Source: PTI
November 14, 2013 22:01 IST
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Prime Minister David Cameron assured British investment in West Bengal at a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was invited by him to visit the UK.

"The meeting was very constructive and positive. The issue of British investment in the state figured at their meeting. They want to invest here," a top source told PTI after the 30-minute talks at the British Deputy High Commission.

"There was a detailed discussion on British investments in the state. The discussions were also good in the interest of India and Britain," the source said.

The source said that industrialists from the UK would visit West Bengal, while those from the state would visit Britain.

"The areas in which the UK was interested in investing included tourism, transport, particularly inland water transport, and river front beautification," the source said.

Cameron, who was second British PM to visit Kolkata after John Major about 16

years ago, was happy at the initiatives of the state government for setting up private universities, the source said.

Cameron also invited the chief minister, who often speaks about transforming Kolkata into London and developing Hooghly riverfront on the lines of the Thames, to the UK.

The meeting started with greetings of 'namaste' and handshakes.

The Chief Minister presented Cameron a book written by her, an embroidered kurta-pyjama set and dokra handicrafts before his departure for Colombo for the Commonwealth Head of Governments meet.

In May last year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had met Banerjee at the Writers' Building.

The British government's funding agency, DFID, has been helping the state government with funds to restructure the power sector and ailing public sector enterprises, including state transport corporations.

DFID is also funding the Poorest Areas Civil Society programme.

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