The UK trade ministry will look into investment possibilities in West Bengal. Dr Kim Howells, minister of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, was in the city on Tuesday. He said that he would hold discussions with the UK trade minister on investment possibilities in the state.
Howells, speaking to reporters at the inauguration of the British Council's Lifestyle and Diversity Zone (a centre for providing information on studying in the UK and other educational issues) in the city, said Bengal is India's most fertile place and so has got great potential for agriculture. What's needed, however, is quality technology.
As regards UK investment abroad, India figures next only to the US and Japan: "I will discuss with the trade minister what he thinks about the investment possibilities (in West Bengal)."

Howells said the moves made by the caretaker government of Bangladesh to curb terrorism are encouraging. Responding to a question on whether he sees India (and thus West Bengal) a soft target for terrorist organisations, he said every place is a destination for terrorists, 'porous borders' and 'safe access' being important facilitators. "India, is of course, in such a strategic position."
Howells said he sees Kolkata as an intellectual powerhouse of India and South Asia. He stressed the need for a sustained intellectual link between universities and research institutes of the city and that of the UK.
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