Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was at the heart of the sixth edition of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2013, which kicked off at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on Friday morning. Emerging as the face of Gujarat’s entrepreneurship, Modi hosted high-level delegates from America, China, Britain, Canada, Japan, Australia, Yunan, Spain and Russia.
A section of India Inc’s upper crust shared the stage with Modi, with the added presence of European Union (EU) nations, led by the United Kingdom. Partner countries Japan and Canada brought with them the largest delegation of about 100 and 200 professionals respectively. A total of 120 countries are participating in the event. Approximately 7,500 people attended the first day of the summit.
Speeches of most entrepreneurs, about 27 of them, revolved around praising Modi and Gujarat – in that order. While ADAG’s Anil Ambani called for a standing ovation to Modi, references to his national political ambitions were fewer this time as compared to every speaker resonating it in 2011.
Alternating between Hindi and a prepared speech in English, Modi spoke for about 20 minutes. The thrust was on sending a positive sentiment for global economy and effectively tapping youth power of the country. For those used to seeing an uber- confident Modi, his demeanour came across as tad sombre on Thursday. But what his speech might have lacked in spirit, it made up in prose.
“Once upon a time, Gujarat was a gateway to the globe from India. Now it is becoming the global gateway to India,” he said. “I firmly believe this century is the century of India, and realistically the Indian youth. Our economic process must be youth-led development. I am sure we will revive the whole of India with the power of youth and with the power of faith in that power, as Swami Vivekananda told us,” he added.