Vibrant Gujarat summit 2019: A look at how biennial conclave evolved over the years and helped state garner investments

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the ninth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) on Friday in Gandhinagar.

The summit is being held in the city from 18 to 20 January.

On Thursday, Modi will first inaugurate the 'Vibrant Gujarat Global Trade Show', an integral part of the biennial investor summit.

Vibrant Gujarat Summit was conceptualised in 2003 by Modi who was then the chief minister of Gujarat to re-establish the state as a preferred investment destination. The Summit provides a platform for brainstorming on agendas of global socio-economic development, knowledge-sharing and forging effective partnerships.

Heads of five countries and over 30,000 national and international delegates, including CEOs of major companies from India and abroad, are expected to attend the 9th edition of the summit, according to organisers.

Indian business tycoons who are expected to attend include Reliance Industries chairman and managing director, Mukesh Ambani, Kotak Mahindra Bank chairman and managing director, Uday Kotak, Aditya Birla group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman and founder, Adani Group, Gautam Adani, chairman of Godrej group, Adi Godrej and chairman and managing director, Cadilla Healthcare, Pankaj Patel.

The CEOs and top executives of global companies like BASF, DP World, Suzuki, Vanguard and Maersk among others would also be present.

Vibrant Gujarat summit 2019: A look at how biennial conclave evolved over the years and helped state garner investments

A file photo of Narendra Modi. Reuters

According to The Times of India, investments around Rs 40,000 crore have been proposed in the environment, conventional and pharmaceutical sectors as the 2019 summit kicks off.

Back in 2003, Gujarat was the first state in the country to start a state-level investor conclave. Over the years, the summit helped Modi to build an image of an investor-friendly administrator. The last Vibrant Summit held in 2017 had witnessed participation of over 100 countries.

Agenda for 2019 Summit

The focus of the 2019 Summit would be to boost bilateral trade and increase exports from Gujarat instead of just attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), according to officials.

Additional Chief Secretary of Agriculture and Co-operation Department, Sanjay Prasad said the focus this time will be on bilateral trade and technical collaborations to help Gujarat-based firms increase exports after doing value-addition to raw material imported from different countries.

“Attracting FDI in Gujarat has been the main focus of the earlier summits. But this time, we are focusing not only on FDI, but also on ensuring a quantum increase in all kinds of economic activities here,” Prasad told PTI.

However, according to The Week, this year's summit might be a dull affair when compared to its earlier editions. The UK recently has opted out of the summit, citing “unsatisfactory commercial outcomes”. Before this, the United States too had said that it would not be a partner country in the summit till trade issues between the two countries were resolved.

MoUs and investments

Recently, the state government claimed that only 62 percent of all MoUs signed at Vibrant Gujarat Summits over the years have materialised into investments.

According to the Socio-Economic Review of Gujarat for 2015-16, 57 percent of all MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding)/Investment Intention approved during Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2003 to 2015 (as of October 2015) were commissioned or were under implementation.

During 2003 and 2015, the state witnessed an investment commitment of over Rs 76 lakh crore, according to Mint.

As many as 76,512 MoUs were signed at the eight Vibrant Gujarat Summits held between 2003 and 2017, according to DNA. Gujarat deputy chief minister Nitin Patel said that of these, 47,594 MoUs had been commissioned.

Summit over the years

During the first summit in 2003, a modest 76 MoUs worth Rs 66,068 crore were signed. The numbers soared thereafter to 21,304 MoUs in 2015 with proposed investment of Rs 25 lakh crore. In the 2017 edition, as many as 25,578 agreements were signed.

However, following the BJP-led NDA government's thumping victory in 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Narendra Modi moved to the national capital to take charge as prime minister and since then the summit has lost it sheen, according to NDTV.

Following the criticism that the MoU figures are highly exaggerated, the government in 2015 moved on from signing MoUs to letters of intent (LoIs). The government decided to emphasis on creating a global networking platform and signing of executable projects.

With inputs from agencies

 

 

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Updated Date: Jan 17, 2019 15:16:03 IST

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