The meeting of Opposition's INDIA bloc was called by Congress on December 6.
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday left for Dubai on a a 11-day trip to Spain and the United Arab Emirates to seek investments and boost trade ties.
Speaking to mediapersons at the city’s NSCBI airport before boarding her flight after a three-hour delay, Miss Banerjee said: “Before lighting the lamp, it has to be filled with oil, so for industrial growth, constant planning is required… We have to talk and exchange ideas. Only then does success come. It is a long-term journey that we have been on for the past several years.”
Miss Banerjee was accompanied by Chief Secretary HK Dwivedi and representa- tives from different chambers of commerce of the state.
Asked about her choice of Spain for this trip, Miss Banerjee said: “Spain has shown keen interest in our book fairs. They have a thriving arts and crafts industry, which they have showcased here multiple times. While they visit us frequently, we have not reciprocated their invitation until now. Let’s see what unfolds.”
Asked if her trip had a significant agenda, she stated: “The significant agenda comes later. We need to fill the oil lamps before lighting them. That’s why I am going.
This choice is strategic for the benefit of our state.”
Miss Banerjee and her teamwillhaveaday’sstopover in Dubai before flying to Spanish capital Madrid.
Representatives from three football clubs in Kolkata, namely East Bengal, Mohun Bagan, and Mohammedan Sporting, are accompanying her on this trip. Former Indi- an cricket captain and ex- chairman of the cricket board, Sourav Ganguly, is expected to join the delegation from London.
Sources in the state administration revealed that the Spain trip will start be a “football meeting” with Javier Tebas,thepresidentofLaLiga, in Madrid on 14 September. The West Bengal government might sign a memorandum of understanding with La Liga for the deveopment of football in the state.
A business summit and a meeting with Bengali expats is also scheduled.
From Madrid, the delegation will take a train to Barcelona, where they will participate in a two-day meeting for the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS).
Previously, Miss Banerjee visited Singapore and London for similar purposes. However, her proposed visits to Chicago in the USA and China were cancelled, which were attributed to “political opposition.”
Miss Banerjee said: “Manufacturing and other industries in Spain are very good. This visit is on their invitation. Spain came to our book fair. They came again and again. Now it’s our turn. Let’s see what can happen. We have an industry conference here from 21 to 23. They come again and again. But none of us go.
That is why this small country is chosen.”
There is also a business summit and meetings will be held with expatriates in Dubai on her way back from Spain.