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Vibrant Gujarat: Modi invites other states too!

Last updated on: November 17, 2010 20:27 IST

Vibrant Gujarat: Modi invites other states too!

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Having achieved acclaim and sizeable investments in previous editions of Vibrant Gujarat Summit, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said other Indian states have also been invited to the forthcoming edition of the event so that they too can grow economically.

"Our effort is to further widen the scope of the event. This time we have invited Indian states as well as other countries to make use of this platform," Modi said, speaking at a roadshow in Mumbai in the run-up to the event to be held in Ahmedabad in January next year.

In the last edition in 2009, Gujarat had received investment commitments of up to $240 billion and 47-odd countries participated in it.

"Earlier, our focus had been for the benefit of Gujarat (alone), but now we feel the event should help all our Indian states. . . if any state wants to come and sign a MoU (memorandum of understanding) with any company, we will be happy to facilitate (through the event)," he said.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Mumbai on Wednesday.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Similarly, Modi also invited Indian companies to use the platform to network with other companies, sign agreements with foreign firms. Companies from 80 countries have evinced an interest in the summit this time around, he said.

Modi, however, added that Gujarat will continue being the key theme for the event and enlisted a slew of advantages like infrastructure, power surplus, robust agricultural growth and water management, among others, that makes the state an attractive investment destination.

Going beyond the industrial estates, Special Economic Zones and special clusters, Modi said his administration is currently working on a much bigger concept -- Special Investment Regions (SIRs) -- which involves massive urbanisation of an area where residents have the advantage of walk-to-work.

One such SIR is being developed at Dholera, 80 kilometres from Ahmedabad near the coast, and as a part of integrated development, the region will be having an international airport and connectivity to Ahmedabad and state capital Gandhinagar with a metro rail line, Modi said.

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Image: Modi speaking at a meeting with business leaders in Mumbai.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Gujarat is betting big on the benefit from the forthcoming Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor which passes through the state and is developing a port at Maroli near Umargaon in south Gujarat, Modi said.

Besides this, the state is also developing an automobile hub in the Sanand-Rajkot corridor and Modi called on auto ancillaries to set up shop there. The move follows the setting-up of the Tata Nano plant at Sanand.

The Gujarat chief minister also said that the state holds tremendous business opportunities for companies in the water space like desalination, recycling and rain water harvesting.

Gujarat is on the path to achieve its target of having 1,000 MW of installed solar power capacity and if things go well, it will inaugurate the nation's largest solar power farm before January.

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Image: Narenda Modi with Arun Nanda, chairman, CII, Western Region.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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Replying to queries from industrialists at the CII organised event, Modi sternly came against the incentives-based industrial growth model, stating Gujarat will not adapt the path, but will give policies and environment conducive to economic growth.

Industrialists who were present at Wednesday's road-show included Harsh Goenka, Rajju Shroff and Mehul Choksi, among others.

On January 12 and 13, 2011 the 5th Vibrant Gujarat Summit is scheduled to take place at the new purpose-built Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar.

The Vibrant Gujarat Summits, held biennially since 2003, have been a major success, attracting investment proposals worth over $370 billion.

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Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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The Vibrant Gujarat Summits aim to facilitate investment alliances for the participating countries; they are the ideal platform to explore business opportunities in Gujarat, in India and across the world.

With the primary focus of making Gujarat the most attractive investment destination in the world, the Gujarat government has also announced a new Industrial Policy.

The new industrial policy has been formulated in line with the vision that has been framed for the state.

The primary policy objectives are to:

  • Facilitate investments in Gujarat;
  • Generate employment enhance employability; and
  • Adhere to high quality standards.

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Image: Modi with (from left) Maheshwar Sahu, Gujarat principal secretary, industries; A K Joti, chief secretary, Gujarat; and Arun Nanda.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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In a move to support innovation among small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Gujarat, the state government has launched a fund with a corpus of around Rs 60 crore (Rs 600 million).

Earlier, Modi had said in Chennai, "One of the main focus areas for the government is SMEs. We don't have raw materials in the state, but we have still attracted large investments in the manufacturing sector. This was because of SMEs and they are our assets."

He noted that in 2007-08 and 2008-09, of the total number of jobs created in the state, 78 per cent were by SMEs and the agriculture sector, and they were the state government's first priority, said Modi.

The state administration has said around 300,000 jobs are expected to be created in the state in the next three years by SMEs.

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Image: Modi with A K Joti.
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"In order to make our SMEs competitive and improve quality, the state government has launched an innovation fund. This can be used for manufacturing and marketing, apart from innovation," said Modi.

Maheshwar Sahu, principal secretary, industries and mines department, Government of Gujarat, added, "It's a Rs 60-crore fund, which was created to boost innovation among SMEs."

Earlier this week, British parliamentarian Lord Meghnad Desai met Narendra Modi and expressed willingness to partner with the state government in its efforts to face challenges on climate change.

Desai runs Idea Global, which is engaged in financing climate projects in energy and carbon market.

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Image: Narendra Modi.
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Modi explained to Desai, Gujarat government's pilot project for implementing the ambitious solid waste management and waste water treatment to convert 50 urban centres in the state as green and clean cities to earn carbon credits.

The other projects that were discussed were to convert the existing coal-based power plants into gas-fired plants, besides developing solar and wind energy based power generation, organic farming for bringing about qualitative improvement in the lives of the people.

Modi further said the state government is the fourth in the world to have started a separate department of climate change with a view to reducing pollution, conserving energy, getting carbon credits.


Image: Narendra Modi.
Photographs: Sanjay Sawant/Rediff.com
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