The cultural centre of India, West Bengal, is located on the east coast of India with the Bay of Bengal in the south. West Bengal is the 3rd largest producer of rice in India. Rice production for the state totalled 11.68 million tonnes in 2018-19. The state is also a major producer of fish.
West Bengal is the second largest tea-producing state in India and is home to the globally acclaimed Darjeeling tea variety. Its location advantage makes the state a traditional market for eastern India, the Northeast, Nepal and Bhutan. It is also a strategic entry point for markets in Southeast Asia. The cost of operating a business is lower in Kolkata than in other metropolitan cities. West Bengal is an important destination for investment. It has been a recipient of high foreign direct investments which have led to the development of infrastructure in the state.
According to the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DPIIT), FDI inflows in West Bengal, along with Sikkim and Andaman & Nicobar Islands, from April 2000 to June 2019, totalled US$ 5,599 million.
As of November 2019, the state had a total installed power generation capacity of 10,786.89 MW, of which 6,607.95 MW was under state utilities, 2,842.34 MW was under the private sector and 1,336.60 MW was under central utilities.
West Bengal is a major IT hub with over 500 IT companies employing more than 135,000 people directly or indirectly. Total export from IT sector of the state is estimated to have crossed Rs.19,000 crores (USD $2.83 bn) in 2016-17.
The seat of Hosiery in India, with 17,900 hosiery units, West Bengal aims to increase the sector’s share to 10% of the state GDP by 2022-23.
West Bengal offers a diverse environment for agriculture and horticulture production with six agro-climatic zones. Production of fruits and vegetables in West Bengal in 2016-17 stood at 3.7 million tonnes and 25.5 million tonnes, respectively. The state is the 3rd largest producer of rice and second largest producer of potatoes in the country.
During 2017-18, the state produced 387.86 million kg of tea, accounting for 29.27% of India's total tea production. Tea production between April-October 2018 reached 289.32 million kg. The state is the second-largest tea-growing state in India.
A coastline running over 150 km offers plenty of opportunity for inland fishing and fish cultivation. West Bengal is also a major producer of fish. During 2017-18, the state produced a total of 1.74 million tonnes of fish and fish production for 2018-19 has been anticipated at 1.85 million tonnes.
The state accounts for about 10% of the country’s total steel capacity. Durgapur is popularly known as the ‘Steel City of Eastern India’ and has two major steel plants: Durgapur Steel Plant and Alloy Steel Plant. West Bengal is the third largest producer of minerals in India. Coal accounts for 40% of extracted minerals in the state.
The state government has identified 11 potential tourist sites in the state where it will develop tourism infrastructure through PPP mode. The state saw the arrival of close to 76 mn domestic and foreign tourists in 2016.
The state is the third largest producer of finished leather products in India with 26% of the tanneries in the country located in West Bengal. Kolkata is the second most important tanning centre of India, accounting for 22-25% of the country’s tanning activities.
Andhra Pradesh, the 10th most populated state in India, is home to about 4.1% of the country's total population. The state's population of 49.4 mn is equivalent to the population of Spain.
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