Impressed by the emergence of a ‘new Assam,' top industry captains on Tuesday pledged their commitment towards industrial and overall development of State at the first meeting of the Assam Investment Advisory Board held at the Secretariat here.

“All of us run successful business in other parts of India. But I must say that there are tremendous opportunities in Assam too, and that the potential of the State has not received attention for a long time. A new Assam is here. We are drawn by the opportunities and challenges here. We are here by choice, said Tata Sons Chairman Ratan Tata while addressing a joint press conference with Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and other industry bigwigs after the two-hour long meeting, which they attended as the board members.

Saying that he was happy to come to Assam again, Mr. Tata told journalists that “I had come to Assam a few years ago. My visit this time is an eye opener because Guwahati has changed… full of evidence of development and prosperity.” Unilever President M. S. Banga, Videocon Chairman V. N. Dhoot, Eveready Industries Chairman B. M. Khaitan, Tata Sons Director R. K. Krishna Kumar, HSBC CEO Naina Lal Kidwai, State Bank of India Chairman O. P. Bhatt, former Indian Ambassador to United States Ronen Sen were among others present at the meeting.

Mr. Gogoi said industry captains had shown great interest and pledged their commitment for developing education, healthcare, infrastructure and power sectors of the State at the board meeting. Assam Industries and Commerce Minister Pradyut Bordoloi said the State was trying to promote the Brand Assam and the industry captains had agreed to become the ambassadors for the State. Mr. Banga said his company's experience in Assam with a 40,000-tonne capacity consumer production unit set up in 2001, employing 4,000 people was ‘very good'. He said the Uniliver's experience in Assam should send a positive signal to others.

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