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Visit of Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee to the United Kingdom from July 27-30, 2015

Hon'ble Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee visited the UK during July 26-29, 2015.The Chief Minister was accompanied by an official delegation including Dr Amit Mitra, Minister of Finance; Shri Derek O'Brein, MP, Rajya Sabha; Shri Sugato Bose, MP, Lok Sabha; Shri Deepak Adhikari, MP, Lok Sabha; Shri Sovan Chattopadhyay, Mayor of Kolkata; Shri Sanjay Mitra, Chief Secretary and Principal Secretaries to the Government of West Bengal in various departments. Apart from the official delegation, the Chief Minister was also accompanied by a large business delegation, cultural delegation as well as media from India.

During the visit, HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York hosted the Chief Minister at Buckingham Palace. Baroness D'Souza, Lord Speaker of the House of Lords was also present at a reception hosted by the Duke of York on the occasion.

The Chief Minister attended an official reception at the Locarno Suite, hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Rt Hon Priti Patel, Minister of State for Employment represented the UK side. In her address, the Chief Minister highlighted West Bengal as the ‘Human Capital of the World' and called on British businesses to invest in the state, assuring them that "backlogs and red tape are gone". During the event, over 20 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) signed between the UK and West Bengal Governments at the FICCI-UKIBC business event held earlier in the fields of industry, health, education and urban development were highlighted. Prior to the reception, the Chief Minister had a bilateral meeting with Rt Hon Priti Patel, where issues of mutual interest were discussed.

The Chief Minister attended a Roundtable Discussion over dinner hosted by Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Chair, UK India Business Council (UKIBC), during which she interacted with high level representatives of UK corporates keen on investing in West Bengal.

The Chief Minister also participated in a Roundtable Discussion with Asia House corporate members, hosted by Asia House and KPMG, during which she highlighted the opportunities available for UK companies to invest in West Bengal.

During the visit, the Chief Minister paid floral tributes at the recently installed Mahatma Gandhi statue at Parliament Square and the statue of Rabindranath Tagore at Gordon Square in London.

The Prime Minister of the UK David Cameron could not meet with the Chief Minister as he was not in the UK. The PM wrote a letter to the Chief Minister, saying "I wish you a successful and rewarding visit which will help to forge the close ties between the UK and West Bengal. Our relationship with India is a priority for the UK, and we look forward to welcoming your Prime Minister to the UK later this year. The proposed signature of over 20 Memorandums of Understanding between the UK and West Bengal during your visit is a clear reflection of our positive relationship in a number of areas."

Aug 5, 2015
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