Kolkata: State finance minister Amit Mitra on Wednesday stressed on exports to be the focus in order to reach its target of $50 million in next two to three years. According to him, the state has witnessed a growth of 11 per cent in export in the last fiscal.
Speaking at the 164th annual general meeting of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCC&I), he said, “West Bengal has crossed 10 lakh crore Gross Domestic Product mark. The state grew by 16.29 per cent. Services grew by 9.2 per cent, Industrial growth was 6.29 per cent. West Bengal grew by 9.59 per cent in terms of Gross Value Added and Index of Industrial Production grew by 9 per cent.”
He elaborated, “Although the current account deficit is a deep issue, Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are the most vibrant and dynamic exporters of our state. Our exports in 2016-17 was $8.23 billion and in 2017-18 it reached $9.15 billion with a 11 per cent growth in a single year.
Dr Mitra added, “The government has a new export policy, also lending constraints have been eased for ease of exports. The government is committed to the development of MSMEs but they have to scale up. In this regard Chambers can do a lot to bring them up and the government will assist through infrastructure and policy support.”
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed by BCC&I president Indrajit Sen and Indo-German Chamber of Commerce director general Bernhard Steinrücke at the event. Mr Steinrücke underlined the need to increase exports, which is around $21 billion between Germany and India.
Mr Sen said, “To achieve this goal, the MSME sector in West Bengal will need access to cutting edge technology and continually upgrade the skill to compatible levels. The BCC&I is starting the Centre of Excellence for MSME in partnership with Indo-German Chamber of Commerce to help the MSME in West Bengal to identify suitable technology partners from Germany and also facilitate the skill development programme with the help of Senior Expert Service programme of German Association of Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK).”