West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s ideas for the state’s development are “interesting and bold” and Britain is keen to invest here in a range of sectors apart from education and research, British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith said on Thursday. “There are many interesting and bold ideas the chief minister has and we would want British companies to compete in those areas and that’s what the relationship is between Great Britain and India,” Asquith, who paid a visit to Banerjee at the state secretariat here told reporters.
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Asquith was here in a follow-up to UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s meeting with Banerjee last month.
“It was about Britain’s interest to develop the relationship with West Bengal across the board, whether it’s in trade or investment or research and links between universities,” the British diplomat said when asked about his meeting with the chief minister.
He said West Bengal, like any other state in India, was looking at those areas where Britain was already collaborating — in research, science, medicine, trade etc. — and then, building on those and doing even more.
“Not just in education or research, but in every single area of the economy that West Bengal and the chief minister are trying to build and develop,” said Asquith.
The British High Commissioner, who arrived in the city in the afternoon with his wife, is scheduled to meet state Finance Minister Amit Mitra on Saturday and attend a couple of medical conferences during his three-day stay.
Tomorrow morning, Asquith is scheduled to be present at the Institute of Neurosciences to witness a collaborative venture of the medical facility and Newcastle University.
On Saturday morning, he is scheduled to visit St Xavier’s College and attend horse races at the heritage Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) later in the day.
Asquith is also scheduled to visit the Scottish cemetery before leaving for Bengaluru on Sunday afternoon.