Bengal plays central role in India-Spain trade ties: Mamata | Kolkata News

WEST BENGAL would be a game-changer not just for the country but the world, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Tuesday.

Addressing a Business Summit in Barcelona, Banerjee said Bengal plays the “central role” in India-Spain trade and economic relations.

“We have a close connection… between India and Spain. I am proud to say that West Bengal leads the country and I love my motherland. In Europe, Spain started the Renaissance…revolution. Similarly, it is Bengal that started the revolution in India. This is the similarity between Bengal and Spain. I appreciate the Spanish culture, the books, films, and the paintings. We are enthusiastic about the game of football. We watch your players playing on the ground even if it means staying awake the whole night. Among us are fans of [footballers] Messi, Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. Messi has visited Kolkata and so did Pele, who is not among us anymore.”

She said, “Nowadays, the world is a family with only geographical boundaries but mentally we are one. We believe in humanism, unity in diversity, development, and that the poorest of people must be taken care of…” Banerjee pointed out that a memorandum of understanding was recently signed with La Liga authorities, who will be the joint partners to guide and advise in the arena of sports in West Bengal.

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She said, “We empowered the girl child through our Kanyashree Scheme. Earlier, before girls turned 18, their families would be worried about how they would manage their education or marriage. To remedy this, we empowered them from school to college to university… to everywhere. We even provide student credit cards that provide higher education assistance to students.”

She said, “Bengal is a leading state in the manufacturing and export of all products. Bengal occupies the central role in the India-Spain trade and economic relations. I can assure you that Bengal has evolved as an economic powerhouse, that has much more to offer, as it is one of the fastest-growing economies of India. It grew at a rate of 8.41% in 2022-23 despite the Covid-19 pandemic. West Bengal’s GDP will be more than 200 billion euros, in the coming year of the 2023-24 financial cycle. We have a corridor that includes Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, and Asia with parts of Southeast Asia. The corridor is the gateway to the northeastern region of the country. We provide free insurance worth thousands to the farmers, to assist them in cultivating crops.”

She said, “Bengal’s Durga Puja has been included in UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. We earn in billions during the festival. There is manufacturing regulation underway in Bengal. You are already partners in our Book Fair and Film Festival.”

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