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Vibrant Gujarat: Modi to make India business-friendly

Assuring global investors the government would 'hold your hands whenever needed,' Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, 'If you walk one step, we will walk two steps for you'. Leaders laud Modi, flag concerns

india Updated: Jan 12, 2015 09:10 IST
Mahesh Langa
Gujarat

Prime Minister Narendra Modi wooed global investors at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit on Sunday, promising to make India the "easiest" destination to do business.

He offered a future with a stable tax regime and a predictable, transparent and fair policy environment.

Modi, who assumed office as PM in May last year, said, "The ease of doing business in India is a prime concern for you and for us. I assure you that we are working very seriously on these issues. We want to make them not only easier than earlier, not only easier than the rest, but the easiest."

He told the gathering of industry captains, foreign diplomats and leaders, "On the economic front, in the first two quarters we registered a growth rate which is 1% higher than the previous year. The IMF (International Monetary Fund) has said India will be the second fastest growing country in the coming years."

Assuring investors the government would "hold your hands whenever needed," he said, "If you walk one step, we will walk two steps for you."

"This event is not just a meeting of hands, but one of hearts as well. It's not just a meeting of ideas, but aspirations too," he said.

Modi said the summit stood for inclusiveness - of small with big, of rich with poor, and of gut feelings with mature thoughts.

"We are here as a family not only in terms of space but also because someone's dreams depend on someone's direction; someone's success depends on someone's support' and someone's curiosity depends on someone's care. This is what a family does.

"The ultimate objective of world leaders is welfare of all. All want the planet to be a better place to live."

He said at every global meet he had attended, the common worry was the state of the global economy, its stability and recovery.

"The global financial crisis is a problem that presents an opportunity to become stronger, disciplined and innovative… Change starts with a change in mindset."

The PM said the world was displaying tremendous interest in India and this was a source of great strength. "Countries are coming forward to work with us."

Modi also invited the world to soak in the spirit of the kite festival and enjoy Gujarati hospitality.

The pleasantries came in an atmosphere of ringing endorsement from the industry for Gujarat as an investment destination. World leaders chipped in as well.

At the outset, Modi expressed solidarity with the people of France, condemning the January 7 terror attack on the Paris office of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Earlier, US secretary of state John Kerry said Modi had made the name of Gujarat synonymous with possibilities, change and energy.

"We share the Prime Minister's goal to increase trade five times with India," Kerry added.

He stressed on sustainable energy policy, saying it is "the answer to climate change".

On US President Barack Obama heading for India, Kerry said, "Barack Obama is very excited. He will be the first US President at Republic Day celebrations."

Day 1 of the summit also saw big-ticket announcements.

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani announced Rs 100,000-crore investment in Gujarat across businesses in the next 12-18 months.

Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla described Gujarat as "the most preferred destination for us" and said his group would invest Rs 20,000 crore in expansion of cement and other plants in the state.

Speaking at the event, Suzuki Motor Corp chairman Osamu Suzuki said the state was superior in infra and decision-making over others.

He said Suzuki Motor Corp's new car manufacturing unit in Gujarat, being set up at an investment of Rs 4,000 crore, would be ready by 2017.

(With inputs from Agencies)