Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has been doing a hardsell of the state as an investment destination to American investors during his current four-city trip during which he has promised to clean up Mumbai and make it more attractive to stay and do business in.
He is accompanied by Minister for Industries Ashok Chavan, senior officials and a group of prominent industrialists during his trip to Seattle, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago.
Deshmukh was the keynote speaker at the Maharashtra Investment Forum organised by M/s Institutional Investors at the Metropolitan Club on June 25. The plenary and panel discussions at the meet were attended by 250 invitees.
On June 25, he addressed another group of investors and a group of leading IIT-Powai alumni from the tri-state area at the Consulate General of India. About 100 people participated.
He highlighted Maharashtra's advantages as a foreign direct investment (FDI) destination. He said the state was growing at a rate faster than the national growth rate of over 9 per cent. It also had over a hundred special economic zones, many of which were already in a position to receive investors.
He pointed out that the civic administration was working on a war footing to rehabilitate slum dwellers and clean up Mumbai. He added that Maharashtra had always been on the forefront of industrial development in India and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had declared it the most sought after state in the country for foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2006.
The chief minister also had one-on-one meetings with US investors here on June 26 and 27.
On June 27, Deshmukh had a breakfast Q&A session with the Council on Foreign Relations, a non-partisan source for information and analysis. Marcus Brauchli, managing editor of the Wall Street Journal, was the moderator. The session was attended by about 60 members.
Discussions centred on the infrastructure gaps in India, particularly in Maharashtra, and the action being taken by the government of Maharashtra to bridge the gaps.
Deshmukh and his team went to Seattle from New York, where they held meetings with Starbucks, Microsoft and Boeing officials and attended a conference organised by the International Trade Division in that city, according to a state government statement.
The team was scheduled to be in Los Angeles this weekend, after which it would go to Chicago to meet the management of Dow Chemicals, among others, the statement added.