Eric Garcetti, the US ambassador to India in an interactive session with the members of the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) on Thursday acknowledged the West Bengal government’s emphasis on making the state a logistics hub.
He said that West Bengal has the potential to become the logistics capital of India.
While commending the West Bengal government’s emphasis on developing ports and Inland waterways, and multimodal transportation infra to make the state a logistics hub for the nation, Garcetti pointed towards the billion-dollar investments that the state is attracting from US-based MNCs.
US e-commerce giant Amazon has already invested in logistics in the state. The US headquartered MNC, Pepsi has also invested in agro-processing sector in the state.
Garcetti said, “The state is not only strategically located in India but also well-positioned as the gateway between south east Asia, south Asia and east Asia,” he added.
The US Ambassador who met the principal chief advisor to the chief minister of West Bengal, Amit Mitra, on Wednesday, said that the US is further keen to invest in infrastructure in the state. He pointed towards, the toll company from the US that is linked with Second Vivekananda Bridge across the Ganges, a critical infrastructure for the city for 16 years.
West-Bengal: An attractive state for logistics investments
West Bengal has been in talks and attracting billion-dollar investments due to its unique position that enables efficient trade and commerce in the region while also providing a multimodal connectivity to neighbouring nations like Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, the South East Asian Countries and the bordering states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Sikkim, Assam.
The state has the 3rd largest road network in the nation, a leading rail network density including the second largest Metro Rail network in the country and two international Airports in Kolkata and Bagdogra along with the first private sector Greenfield airport of India operational at Andal.
Moreover, West Bengal is home to two major ports in Kolkata and Haldia and is furthering its efforts in the maritime sector through the two upcoming deep-sea ports at Tajpur and Kulpi.
While the Tajpur deep-sea port has been awarded to Adani Group for development with a total investment of INR 25,000 crore, the Kulpi port project is also set for revival at an estimated cost of INR 3000 crore.
The state if further pushing the development of Inland waterways. In 2021, West Bengal, the World Bank and the Centre signed a USD 105 million project to improve the inland water transport infrastructure in Kolkata, which has the potential to become a major transport and logistics hub linking the northeastern region and neighbouring countries.
The state also has ICD that are well connected to ports via road and railway networks, supporting the movement of export-import cargo traffic for the NorthEastern states and neighbouring landlocked countries of Nepal and Bhutan.
The state will also soon have four greenfield expressways worth Rs 1 lakh crore. Categorized as a greenfield project the our proposed expressways in West Bengal namely are Kharagpur-Burdwan-Moregram Expressway, Gorakhpur-Siliguri Expressway, Varanasi-Kolkata Expressway, Raxaul-Haldia Expressway. Once operational these expressways will further increase the state’s connectivity and enhance its logistics efficiency.
Furthermore, the state government is also promoting logistics hubs and industrial parks across the state.
The state’s multimodality, its unique position and the efforts from the state and central government to further improve the state connectivity both within and outside the national borders has made West Bengal a magnet for foreign investments.