West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee (Image: PTI)
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said she will attend business summits and hold meetings with several businessmen during her 11-day tour of Spain and Dubai to attract investments to the state.
Speaking to reporters at the state secretariat Nabanna, Banerjee said she will leave for Dubai on Tuesday morning, where she will spend the night due to the unavailability of connecting flights, before flying to Spain's capital Madrid the next day.
"We will stay in Madrid for three days, during which we will attend a business summit and meet non-residential Bengalis. From there, we will take a train to Barcelona, where we will participate in a two-day meeting for the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS)," she said.
She said this will be her first foreign tour in five years as the Centre "had not given her necessary permission earlier".
"I am going (abroad) after five years. We did not get the necessary permission in the last five years. There are several invitations... I do not want to go to far-off places so that I can return quickly in case of any emergency," she said.
Banerjee will be accompanied by Chief Secretary H K Dwivedi and senior office-bearers of renowned Kolkata football clubs Mohun Bagan, East Bengal and Mohammedan Sporting.
She said former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly will join her team in Madrid.
"Spain was the theme country of this year's International Kolkata Book Fair, and it also participated in our film festivals. They are good in (apparel) manufacturing. We hope they will participate in this year's BGBS," she said.
Banerjee said she and her team will return to Dubai, where one meeting on BGBS and some other meetings are scheduled.
"We will stay in Dubai for one-and-half days before returning to Kolkata on September 23," she said.
On whether she will meet any office-bearer of any football club during her stay in Barcelona, which is known to be the home of several world-famous football clubs, Banerjee said, "Let there be some surprises. When I am going there, I want to do something for Bengal." Sources in the state government said Banerjee may meet La Liga president Javier Tebas during her stay in Barcelona.
Banerjee urged the people of the state to take proper measures to diffuse any attempts to disrupt law and order during her absence and said that she has held meetings with senior officials and given necessary instructions to them.
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