Set for next growth phase: Modi
Shifting his focus to "new areas", Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said Vibrant Gujarat Summit (VGS) 2013 was about injecting "positivity" into the economy.
At the summit's inaugural address, he said, "We have deliberately added new areas to the summit. These include knowledge, technology and innovation. We want our youth to benefit from this emphasis on R&D (research and development), knowledge-sharing and cross-cultural partnerships. This event is not just about investments that would give financial returns but about injecting positivity into the economic environment."
Addressing ministers and ambassadors of various countries, including Japan and Canada, who's who of India Inc and delegates from 120 nations and several Indian states, Modi said the summit would seek to introduce a feeling of togetherness in socio-economic activities. "It is about bringing global and local inclusiveness in our economic processes," he said.
The global economic meltdown in the last two years hadn't affected Gujarat adversely, he said. "Through this summit, we want to send a positive message to the global economy. Gujarat has not only been able to sail through the economic meltdown but has maintained growth of over 10 per cent in manufacturing, services and agricultural sectors."
Claiming the first phase of growth and development in Gujarat was over, Modi said the second phase would see the state government trying to boost farmers' incomes through scientific agricultural practices, round-the-clock power and broadband connectivity. "We are one of the least unemployed states; Gujarat contributes 72 per cent to the nation's total job creation. Our new initiatives would create more than three million additional jobs," he said.
"Gone are the days when we talked about IT, or information technology. Today, we need ET - environment technology - to save our resources, which can benefit all. Today's world is characterised by the power of technology and information. And, in India, it is also the power of youth, as by 2020, the nation's average age would be 29-30 years," he said. Urging industrialists and administrators to harness the power of the youth, he said, "I firmly believe this century is India's. It has to be the century of the Indian youth."
Highlighting the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Gujarat, he said, "Last year, when SMEs in the entire country grew 19 per cent, SMEs in Gujarat grew 85 per cent."
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters