The Vibrant Gujarat investment summit in January has been scaled up massively with heads of several countries, over 500 diplomats, CEOs of top multi-nationals and captains of Indian industry expected to participate.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who started the event in 2003 when he was Gujarat chief minister, will inaugurate the next edition — which is being called ‘Davos of the East’ due to its international scale. He will also host a conclave for Fortune 500 CEOs on the opening day, January 11.
Not just that, his office and the external affairs ministry are directly involved in coordinating with the participant countries and companies. The PMO, sources said, has told S Jaishanker, ambassador to the United States, to ensure a top delegation is sent.
“There will be representatives from Ford, Microsoft, British Petroleum, Shell, General Electric, Amazon, Alibaba and others. It is for the first time in India that such a global event is being held,” state chief secretary DJ Pandian said.
“We will also have delegations from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asian Development Bank, the Bill Clinton Foundation and many other think-tanks and institutions,” he added.
Vibrant Gujarat 2015 will have eight partner countries — the US, Australia, UK, Singapore, Netherlands, South Africa, Canada and Japan.
“The US is joining for the first time. Its ambassador in India wrote to the Gujarat CM recently about its decision to partner with the global summit,” an official in the chief minister’s office said.
“The PM will address global CEOs and executives during the conclave and host a dinner for them. This summit will provide a platform to global leaders and industry keen on investing in India,” Pandian said, adding that preparations were on with more than 5,000 hotel rooms being booked and logistics being worked out.
Since its inauguration in 2003, the biennial event — started by Modi to re-establish Gujarat as an investment destination following the 2002 riots — has emerged as a “global business hub”.
On the cards are a trade show showcasing 25 sectors and with participation from over 2,000 companies, and country-specific seminars. The event will be preceded by Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas celebrations on January 8-9 in Gandhinagar.