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An exciting growth story: Gujarat is richer by Rs 4.5 lakh crore

Sunday, 14 January 2007 - 11:45pm IST

CM Narendra Modi exhorts state to back development process as the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit ends on Sunday.

AHMEDABAD: The Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit that ended here on Saturday has brought in investment worth almost Rs 4.50 lakh crore. It is expected to create employment opportunities for some 12 lakh people.

Announcing the figures at the end of the two-day summit, chief minister Narendra Modi said the total investment stood at Rs 4.49 lakh crore, while the number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) signed was 330.

“This is a landmark event in the history of Gujarat,” said Modi while thanking the industrialists and the government officials for putting in long hours of work to ensure the success of the meet.

In an oblique reference to the widespread opposition to the Tata project in West Bengal, he thanked people of Gujarat for putting faith in him and not opposing the development process in the state.

“The whole state is working together as a team. I can see the success of the state. Team Gujarat is my strength. And we are determined to change the future,” said Modi at the valedictory function.

Anil Ambani, chairman of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group, was the chief guest.

Modi is jubilant over the fact that the maximum investment had been in the sectors of infrastructure, manufacturing, engineering and human resource development (HRD).

“Investment in infrastructure will be a key to draw more investment. Big investment in the manufacturing and engineering sectors has great employment potential.” “Investment in HRD will lay a strong foundation for the youth to build their future,” said Modi.

He highlighted that research centres in areas such as nanotechnology, biotechnology, medical sciences, pharmaceuticals would help create a strong knowledge base in the state.

Ambani said though he had no investment to announce at the summit, he would like to invest in the state's development. “The MoU, I would like to sign with the Gujarat government, is to enter into a partnership that will create at least 10,000 Dhirubhais. I am willing to do this in whatever form Narendrabhai recommends.” He praised Modi's leadership, saying: “Gujarat's story in the last few years is built around the dynamism and energy of chief minister Narendrabhai Modi.” 

He lauded the chief minister for having completed the Narmada project against all odds.

It’s an exciting growth story 

Gujarat may be riding high on development and growth, but what is it that has suddenly made the state to irresistible to all?

The hype created at the recently concluded Global Investors’ Summit 2007 in Ahmedabad may lead one to believe so, but industry experts gathered there refute the hypothesis, almost unanimously citing reasons like abundant availability of natural resources, longest coastline, dependable infrastructure and over and above all — the strong “political leadership favouring rapid growth” in the state. While Ratan Tata at the inauguration meet of the Investors’ summit said one would be stupid to not be there in Gujarat, ADAG chairman Anil Ambani at the closing ceremony said “Gujarat will unfold the most exciting growth story of the world in 2007”!

And not surprisingly, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat have been neck and neck in attracting FDI. So what is it that has set Gujarat in this league? “Variety of factors — like wasteland availability, port connectivity, infrastructure like sufficient power supply, road connectivity etc. On the softer side, labour attrition rate in the state is as low as 7 per cent,” said Josef Sporer, MD of Linde Engineering.

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