Prime Minister Narendra Modi lured investors with the promise of progressive policies while inaugurating on Tuesday the eighth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, a biennial business meet he had launched as the state’s chief minister in 2003.
The summit, which has made headlines in the past for the staggering number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) inked at each edition, now aims to facilitate nearly 22,000 such deals with an investment commitment of around Rs 30 lakh crore at Mahatma Mandir over the next four days.
“For investment, sky is the limit and our policies are very progressive. India is going to emerge as one of the world’s largest construction markets. All this offers unprecedented opportunities to the investment community,” he said, addressing an impressive audience.
The delegates included Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Olegovich Rogozin, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and Portuguese prime minister António Costa, besides captains from the industry.
“I assure you that I will be available to hold your hand whenever required,” Modi said, inviting business leaders to invest in India.
“We have liberalised our FDI regime in various sectors and various ways, India is today the most open economy.”
“Delighted to share that we have become the sixth largest manufacturing nation in the world, up from 9th,” the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said Gujarat, the land of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, represents the business spirit of the country.
Calling ‘democracy’ India’s biggest strength, he said: “India’s strength lies in 3Ds — demography, democracy and demand. Ours is a nation of vibrant youth; the disciplined, dedicated and talented youth of India offers globally unmatched workforce.”
Speaking at the summit, businessman Mukesh Ambani promised that his Reliance Industries will complete investment of Rs 1.25 lakh crore in refinery and petrochemical expansion projects in Gujarat by March, exceeding commitments by Rs 10,000 crore.
He described Prime Minister Modi as “a great transformative leader” who transformed Gujarat and is now transforming India with a series of historic and visionary initiatives.
Tata group patriarch Ratan Tata called himself a Gujarati while addressing the summit and said the state became a hub of car manufacturing in India after his company set up the Nano plant.
“Some years ago I got the fortune and good luck of moving our car factory to Gujarat and soon again with the leadership of Narendra Modi, Gujarat has become one of the hubs of car manufacturing in India,” he said.
Tata Motors had relocated its plant to produce the Nano car from Singur in West Bengal to Sanand in Gujarat in 2008.
Tata’s successor Cyrus Mistry, who was abruptly removed as chairman of Tata Sons last October, and had to subsequently resign as director of operating companies, including Tata Motors, dubbed Nano as one of the “legacy hotspots” that “has consistently lost value”.
For highlights of PM Modi’s address at Vibrant Gujarat Summit, click here
(With inputs from agencies)