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Economic Times- 13/01/2010 : Luxembourg leaves call on Jharkhand to LNM

Luxembourg leaves call on Jharkhand to LNM
Our Bureau KOLKATA
LUXEMBOURGS minister of economy and foreign trade Jeannot Krecke is of the opinion that LN Mittal can only decide whether he should call off the ArcelorMittal project in Jharkhand . Incidentally, Mr Krecke is a non-executive board member of the company.
The minister was speaking on the sidelines of a meet fielded by Luxembourg for Business and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci). This (the pullout) is a call that only Mr Mittal can take and its a question that only he can answer. But, he has said that progress of the Jharkhand project is slow, he said.

Mr Krecke arrived in India on Saturday and has had talks with the oil and gas and renewable energy ministries and my friend Kamal Nath, although he doesnt remain the commerce minister anymore .

On Tuesday, Mr Krecke met West Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. We exchanged views on exploring several business opportunities that the state harbours. These include projects revolving around waster water, steel, a cold chain, and solar and wind technology. The chief minister said that there is land and manpower available in his state for setting up projects, he said. A Luxembourg company is already operating in the field of hot metals in the state.

When broached about his reaction to Tata Motors moving out of the state over the land issue at Singur, Mr Krecke said: If the chief minister says that there is land available in the state, I have to take his word for it.

Luxembourg has a lot to gain from India in the sphere of information, communication and technology (ICT). We can use this expertise in our bio-banking and data centres, he said. India is a huge country with very high growth and we have a lot to benefit from it. We can do a lot of outsourcing in the area of infotech and call centres , for instance.

While Luxembourgs industry is almost totally run by the private sector, the government still holds stakes in strategic segments such as energy (39%), aviation, postal and transport. We also hold 2.7% in Mr Mittals company, Mr Krecke said.
While Luxembourg has fended off the recession to an extent through heavy investments in the infrastructure sector, the construction, automobile and retail sectors could still take a while to beat the meltdown. The financial and industrial sectors are now slowly catching up, the minister said.

Incidentally, two MoUs were sealed at the meet between Kolkata-headquartered hospitality company Anmol Vyapaar Pvt Ltd, owned by Rajat Dalmia and Luxembourgs biggest wine manufacturing company Les Domaines-De Vinsmoselle and the countrys leading chocolate outfit Oberweis.