Hillary’s visit: US to invest in West Bengal, Mamata says

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The US has agreed to treat West Bengal as a partner state for investment in the changed political situation, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said here on Monday.

"As per partner state, they will invest in West Bengal which was not taking place due to the political situation in the past," Banerjee told reporters after a 52-minute meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

She also said that the issue of FDI in retail did not come up during the meeting. She said that the areas identified for US investment were IT, software sector, manufacturing, deep sea port, tourism, health care and education.

"They will give full support for economic and business development," Banerjee said, adding that Chief Secretary Samar Ghosh and US Ambassador Nancy Powell would coordinate and monitor the progress.

Describing her meeting with Clinton as "positive, constructive, creative and concrete", the chief minister said that Teesta water-sharing agreement and FDI in retail issues did not figure in the discussion.

"There were no talks about Teesta (water-sharing with Bangladesh). There were no talks on FDI in retail. No nuclear or strategic issues were discussed," Banerjee told reporters in reply to a volley of questions.

Clinton welcomed the political change in the state after 34 years and expressed her happiness at the implementation of programmes taken up.

"We discussed many issues. She congratulated us. Clinton appreciated our passion of work and implementation of programmes."

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