US investors closely monitoring Singur impasse: Diplomat

September 26th, 2008 - 9:42 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Sep 26 (IANS) US Consul General in Kolkata Beth A. Payne Friday said American investors are closely monitoring the ongoing row over Singur and examining the investment climate in West Bengal.”Unfortunately, the conflicts we are seeing in Singur cause American investors to question whether West Bengal can offer essential elements for them. Many of them asked ‘if Ratan Tata cannot succeed in West Bengal, how can an American investor hope to succeed there?’,” Payne told reporters here.

“It’s regrettable that the state lost such an important opportunity to showcase the best it has to offer,” she said on the sidelines of an interactive session organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Payne said many American investors are concerned about Tata’s Nano project. “They are talking about the stand-off and reading news articles on the Singur issue, coming out in all leading dailies in the US,” she said.

“Investors in the US want to know if their projects will be free from political battles and other entities will not interfere into their business model if they come to West Bengal,” she said, adding the US investors always look for stability, transparency, rule of law and most importantly, a respect for agreements and contracts.

Payne said West Bengal has all necessary elements to welcome American investors.

“West Bengal has been the main economic engine in the eastern part of the country. The region has also witnessed a robust growth in the private sector investment, especially in the manufacturing industry,” Payne observed.

“American investors have a very high opinion about West Bengal as it has skilled workforce, proper policies for the private sector initiatives implemented by the government, and, over all, a good network of connectivity.”

“But after Singur, they (Americans) worry that signed agreement may be discarded for political reasons. They worry their workforce will not feel secure if there is a disagreement about contracts that are signed with government agencies,” the diplomat said.

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