In another important visit by a key member of the Barack Obama administration, US secretary of state John Kerry is set to lead an 80-member delegation to the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit scheduled from January 11-13 in Gujarat.
“John Kerry has accepted the invitation of chief minister Anandiben Patel to participate in the summit,” a top official in the CMO told HT, adding Kerry will be accompanied by the US ambassador in India, Kathleen Stephens.
This is for the first time such a senior official from the US is going to participate in the Gujarat government-organised business meet.
According to the Gujarat government official, the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Summit will witness the highest number of foreign dignitaries, including United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon and heads of several other countries.
The UN secretary general will deliver the keynote address in the 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2015' during his two-day visit (January 10-11) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's home state.
The summit will be inaugurated by Modi, who had launched the first Vibrant Gujarat summit in 2003 as the chief minister of Gujarat.
"Ban Ki-moon, secretary general of the UN, is going to take part in our Vibrant Gujarat Summit-2015. He will come to Gujarat on January 10 and will be present at the inauguration function on January 11," finance minister and Gujarat government spokesperson Saurabh Patel said.
On Monday, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel held a detailed meeting with delegates of American Chamber of Commerce in India, led by Mumbai-based US consul general Thomas Vadja about US participation in the summit. Vadja told the CM that nearly 500 US companies will send their representatives in the summit.
Vibrant Gujarat 2015 will have eight partner countries — the US, Australia, the UK, Singapore, Netherlands, South Africa, Canada and Japan.
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”.