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'Vibrant Gujarat' sees just one international investor

By Soumitra Trivedi in Mumbai
January 18, 2007 13:05 IST
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Though the agro and food processing sector has been a priority for the state government, it failed to attract significant overseas investments at the recently concluded Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit-2007.

Most of the MoUs signed during the summit were by domestic investors.

Only one Kenyan company, Vegpro (Kenya) Ltd, based out of Nairobi signed an MoU worth Rs 13 crore for hi-tech horticulture projects in the state. The company has not yet decided on the location and has not mentioned it in the MoU.

Of total 63 MoUs, 10 were inked by nine companies located in different states. These companies also brought in the maximum investment.

Interestingly, 23 MoUs were signed on personal capacity of the signatories and include projects like setting up greenhouses and development of horticulture crops, according to a senior agricultural department official.

The nine companies include two Reliance Industries Ltd group companies - Reliance Retails Ltd and Reliance Lifescience Ltd.

While Reliance Retail has signed an MoU to set up its supply chain infrastructure from farm to the market for agriculture crops at an investment of Rs 3,000 crore (Rs 30 billion), Reliance Life will develop a centre of excellence for agriculture crop in the state.

Hindustan Pencils Ltd has signed an MoU worth Rs 266 crore (Rs 2.66 billion) to set up an SEZ with manufacturing facility and plantation. Continental Warehousing has proposed an investment of Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) for setting up a food park and a cold chain at Ahmedabad, Jamnagar, Surat, Okha and Banaskantha.

Other companies include Jayant Agro Organic Ltd, which signed an MoU for development of castor oil derivatives project with an investment of Rs 2,300 crore (Rs 23 billion).

While Mumbai-based Jayant Oils Ltd signed two MoUs of Rs 765 crore (Rs 7.65 billion) with the government for setting up an R&D unit on products based on castor oils at Bharuch and a sebasic acid manufacturing unit in Vadodara. The company had already announced these projects in the later part of 2006.

Rama Newsprint & Papers Ltd signed an MoU worth Rs 630 crore (Rs 6.3 billion) to expand its existing capacity in Surat.

Ruchi Soya of Indore signed an MoU worth Rs 40 crore (Rs 400 million) for palm tree plantation and oil refinery in Anon while Hyderabad-based Food Fats & Fertilisers Ltd signed a Rs 77-crore (Rs 770 million) MoU for oil palm development in south Gujarat.

The remaining were Gujarat-based companies.

However, Avinash Kumar, additional chief secretary of Agricultural, Animal Husbandry, Fisheries and Co-operation Department, said, "We have not yet received the list of MoUs signed so it will be difficult to say anything. The nodal officers of the department concerned have approved the MoUs."
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Soumitra Trivedi in Mumbai
Source: source

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