Madhya Pradesh is hoping the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Global Investors' Summit beginning next month will boost the credibility of the biennial event and the state’s investment climate, encouraging investors to loosen their purse strings.
After almost two months of efforts, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan sealed Modi's consent on Saturday to inaugurate the summit, which is being seen as a major opportunity for the state to bring in billions of dollars of investments and help the government deliver on its promise to create jobs.
"When someone of his stature comes, it will definitely boost the sentiments," said Ranjan Mimani, former chairman of the Madhya Pradesh chapter of Confederation of Indian Industry, referring to Modi.
"Investors would also like to hear from him about the progress of important central projects such as DMIC freight corridor project. Also, central projects that benefit the state, be it railway connectivity, road connectivity and other infrastructure projects, will be taken up by the stakeholders."
Top industrialists, including ADAG chief Anil Ambani, Essar Group chairman Sashi Ruia and Raghupati Singhania of JK Tyres have already given their consent for the summit.
Modi, a state government official said, will not only attend the inaugural session but also spend nearly three hours at the summit. This will also give an opportunity to top industrialists to interact with him and hear his views on key policy issues.
Some 2,500 delegates have registered for the event but the authorities expect that number to cross 3,500. As many as 11 countries, including Japan, Australia, South Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom will participate as partner countries.
So far, the summit, which began in 2007, has had modest success. In 2012, the state signed agreements worth about Rs 2 lakh crore, mainly in the power, cement, food processing and tourism sectors.
Of that, Officials say, investments worth about Rs 1.20 lakh crore materialised while 20% of agreements signed were cancelled and the remaining projects stuck due to delay in obtaining permission.
Gautam Kothari, president of Pithampur Industry Association, agreed that Modi's presence will give a fillip to the summit.
"Firstly, it will encourage the fence-sitters, the big names in the industry who were undecided, to take part in the event," he said.
"Then, there are certain policy matters that have direct bearing on the investment climate in the state and any positive response from the prime minister will be very encouraging. His presence will also give a morale boost to the local investors."