By Bashir Pathan
Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government has begun preparations at a massive scale for the fifth installment of biennial Vibrant Gujarat 2011 Global Summit to be organized at the newly-built sprawling Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar on January 12 and January 13.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, the brain behind the biennial Vibrant Business jamborees, has decided to widen the scope of the summit this time around, promising a “Davos in Action” kind of destination where global deals can be struck. The two-day business summit coincides with the ongoing celebrations of “Swarnim Gujarat” marking 50 years of formation of Gujarat as a separate state.
The Vibrant Gujarat 2011 Summit will bring together business and thought leaders from Gujarat, India, and the rest of the world to explore investment opportunities and deliberate on the global economic scenario. It will showcase Gujarat’s enterprise and development-friendly credentials, providing participants a comprehensive platform to explore and tap into the tremendous opportunities existing across various sectors in the state. The summit will be attended by representatives of leading global economies and a galaxy of national and international business and political delegations.
Addressing a gathering not so long ago, the Narendra Modi said: “Earlier, our focus had been for the benefit of Gujarat alone, but now we feel the event should help all our Indian states to seek investment. If any state wants to come and sign an MoU with any global company, we will be happy to facilitate this through the event.”
Besides, domestic companies are being invited to use the Vibrant Gujarat platform to network with other companies and ink agreements with foreign firms. This time around, the Vibrant Summit is slated for giving a new direction to the country’s investment landscape by providing participating countries a platform to interact with one another as well.
According to officials in-volved in the preparations, over 20,000 delegates, including more than 700 international and political delegates from 60 countries, are expected to participate in this mega business event, the Partner Countries of which are Japan and Canada, with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) being its National Partner. About 300 exhibitors from as many as 20 countries and from different parts of India are expected to put up their stalls at the venue spread over an area of 30,000 sq. m. Officials say that over 200 B2B and B2G meetings will be held during the event.
As many as 16 sector-specific seminars, six discussion forums and panel discussions, besides a convention on small and medium enterprises will be organized during the summit. Some of the sector-specific seminars are being held as pre-summit events, which include Technical Textiles, Pharmaceuticals, Tourism, Agro and Food Processing, Healthcare, Mineral-based industries, Chemicals and Petrochemicals, Information Technology, Biotechnolgy and Gems and Jewellery. Under the Knowledge Sharing program on January 10-11, panel discussions and discussion forums will be held on Emerging Geographies, Human Development Index focusing on Health Indicators, Urbanization – Changing face of Modern India, Clean Energy, Industry – Responsive Skill Development and Good Governance.
On January 12-13, seminars and convention will be organized on Oil, Gas and Power, Engineering and Auto, Special Investment Regions, SEZs, Industrial Parks and Logistic Parks, Financial Services, Urban Development, Ports, Shipbuilding and related activities, Water and Rural Development. A convention on small and medium enterprises, as also an International Round Table for small businesses will take place during the event.
Commenting on the impending Vibrant Gujarat 2011 Global Summit, Minister of State for Industries Saurabh Patel says: “By organizing such an event, it is our Chief Minister’s mission to make Gujarat a global business hub. We have been successfully organizing Vibrant Gujarat Summits since 2003, attracting more and more investment alliances in this policy-driven and industry-friendly state.”
He attributes the “success” of biennial business events to good infrastructure and smooth and regular supply of power being provided by the government to investors, besides the least mandays’ loss. Road shows by the Chief Minister in different parts of India, as also by senior bureaucrats in overseas countries have been receiving overwhelming response.
Says Principal Secretary (Industries) M. Sahu: “The Vibrant Gujarat 2011 Summit will be different from the previous ones in that the mega event will not only help attract prospective investors, but also provide a knowledge-sharing platform to promote Gujarat as a Global Business Hub.”
State Industries Commi-ssioner B.B. Swain observes: “The fifth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Summit will be the biggest as compared to the previous ones, where policy makers and business leaders will ideate and interact with one another through extensive networking opportunities and business-to-business forums.”