With Modi PM, Vibrant Gujarat billed as ‘Davos of East’
By Prashant Sood
Ahmedabad, (IANS) The Vibrant Gujarat (VG) summit here next January is likely to see some extra enthusiasm among participants as Narendra Modi, the man behind the event, is now India’s prime minister. The summit, being billed as the “Davos of the East”, is being perceived as a global networking platform to propel growth and investment.
Being held Jan 11-13 at the sprawling Mahatma Mandir complex at Gandhinagar, the seventh VG summit will be inaugurated by Modi and is expected to bring together leading national and international business leaders, economists, policy makers and thought leaders to discuss issues related to inclusive and balanced development.
The biennial event, the brainchild of Modi when he was Gujarat chief minister, has grown in the last 12 years to emerge”as “a global business”hub”. The first summit, held in 2003, was aimed at re-establishing Gujarat as an investment destination”
“The response is going to be extraordinary. This year there is going to be a lot of enthusiasm.” Gujarat Chief Secretary Varesh Sinha told IANS in an interview.
Officials said that the summit is expected to see participation of heads of state, chief executive officers of Fortune 500 companies, presidents of international institutions, economists, Nobel laureates, diplomats and international delegates.
The partner countries – Australia, Canada, China, Japan, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, Britain and the US – will hold country seminars during the event. Parallel to the summit, a trade show will be held (Jan 8-13, 2014) a’ India’s largest exhibition area, showcasing 25 sectors and with participation from over 2,000 companies. Over two million visitors are at the exhibi”ion.
“The summit has been like a global business forum for trade relations and bilateral relations. It has become a platform “for all,” Girish Chandra Murmu, principal secretary to Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel, said.
He said the event had turned from a investment summit to a global business hub and is “now the Davos of the East”.
The number of delegates attending VG 2015 is expected to be double of those who attended the 2013 summit.
Officials said that there will be a separat’ global CEO’s conference that the prime minister is expected to attend.
“It’s a first-of-its-kind event in India where global CEOs come. Several top executives of Fortune 500 companies are expected to attend. We are getting confirmations,” an official said.
Organisers are working out logistics for the event including vehicle movement and accommodation.
“We may have to go to places like Mehsana and Anand to identify suitable accommodation for the visitors. Apart from the delegates, there will be national and international media,” an official said.
The summit will see participation from various Indian states and have state seminars as well as theme seminars. The last day has been reserved for B2G (business-to-government) and B2B (business-to-
business) meetings, though B2B meetings can also take place in between.
An international conference of academic institutions will also be held (Jan 9-10), which will be attended by dons from India and abroad.
A series of pre-summit events such as roadshows are also being held to build-up the momentum of VG 2015.
Gujarat officials are pitching their state as the country’s most business-friendly destination due to its infrastructure in terms of roads, ports and power, enabling policies of public private partnership and “decisive” execution of decisions taken.
Chief Minister Patel has said that the state was well-poised to accelerate India’s growth in the 21st century.