West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tonight said she was hopeful that talks can open new investment possibilities during her maiden Singapore visit.
"Talks and dialogues can open new possibilities. Don't you want development of Bengal? Please think positively," the Chief Minister told the waiting newspersons as they wanted to know how much she expected from the visit.
Banerjee, who is accompanied by Finance Minister Amit Mitra, industrialist Sanjay Budhia, Chief Secretary Sanjay Mitra and others including actor-turned-MP Dev, asked the media, "if you (media) were not for development of the state?" "I am going for a tour after so many years and that too in an Asian country, which takes not more than four hours by air. Please, let us be positive about the visit," the chief minister said, probably referring to criticism in a section of media and by opposition about the efficacy of the visit.
Sceptical of "her ability to bring in any investment", opposition parties claimed that the Trinamool Congress government's policies on land and the fate of Tata Motors' Singur factory could act as deterrent.
Banerjee, who left around 10:23 pm, was seen off by minister Firhad Hakim and Trinamool Congress General Secretary Mukul Roy at the airport.
During a programme here on Thursday, Banerjee had said, "If anyone wants to set up industry in Bengal, they are most welcome. We have also started the initiative of skill development. Companies like Samsung and Raymonds are partnering with us."
Talking about the availability of land for industries in Bengal, Amit Mitra had said, "The state government has set up land banks and land parks from where industries have availed plots. The state government has ample land in those land banks."