Ireland looks to invest in eastern India

Our Bureau Kolkata, Oct. 6 Ireland is looking forward to business and investment opportunities in eastern region, particularly West Bengal, and also in the country as a whole, according to Mr Kenneth Thompson, the Ambassador of Ireland. While investments in information and technology, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology are some of the prime focus areas, stress has also been laid on investing in the tourism sector of the eastern region. Around 50 Irish companies are currently operating in India. “A lot of high-end software is made and produced in Ireland and there lies a huge scope and opportunity for collaboration between Ireland and West Bengal in this field,” the Ambassador told newspersons here on Tuesday. The agri-food sector is another focus area, he said. The envoy pointed out that the tourism sector held out a big promise with the ICC Cricket World Cup scheduled in 2011. The fact that Ireland will be playing two cricket matches in Kolkata will also be of interest to the tourism sector. Trade volume With the bilateral trade between India and Ireland at almost one billion euros, which according to the Mr Thompson, is “not very much,” a chunk of Irish investments in the country comes indirectly. He pointed out that almost two thirds of the exports to Ireland from India were merchandise products. He maintained that several “indigenous” Irish firms had already shown interest in investing in West Bengal. And this despite the fact that a chunk of the trade in Ireland was carried out by multinational corporations. Meanwhile, in a bid to improve diplomatic relations, Mr M.K. Jalan, Chairman of Keventer Agro, has been appointed Honorary Consul of Ireland in Kolkata.

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