Poland is looking to forge a partnership with West Bengal to boost bilateral trade with India, its ambassador Adam Burakowski said in Kolkata on Monday.
Bilateral trade between the two countries jumped to a new high of $3.1 billion in 2017, with India exporting goods and services worth $2.3 billion. Of the $800,000 Polish exports to India, coking coal accounted for $180,000 last year, said Anna Rosenthal, second secretary in the Polish embassy in New Delhi.
It isn’t possible for Poland to pursue business opportunities across India, said Burakowski, who speaks Hindi and is an expert on India, though not a career diplomat.
Poland has chosen to partner West Bengal to expand trade with India, and has formed a team with representation from Polish government and private enterprises to pursue business opportunities, he added.
Poland is looking to sell in India mining technology and hardware, apart from coking coal. It currently sells coking coal to Coal India Ltd, a state-controlled enterprise headquartered in Kolkata, according to Rosenthal.
The West Bengal government is looking to develop the Deocha-Pachami coal block, Burakowski said, adding that Polish mining companies were, at the invitation of the state administration, “investigating opportunities” to partner local enterprises to extract coal from the block.
Deocha Pachami is believed to be one of the biggest coal blocks in India with an estimated reserve of 2 billion tonnes. But geologically, coal extraction is expected to be challenging. The Centre has said it would be allotted to West Bengal, but paperwork has not been completed yet.
During his visit to Kolkata, Burakowski is meeting government officials and entrepreneurs such as Sanjiv Goenka, chairman of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka group, which has interests in coal and coal mining.