13 January 2015
Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015 witnesses 21,000 investment intentions and 1,225 Strategic Partnership Agreements

The seventh edition of Vibrant Gujarat Summit (VGS) began on 11 January 2015. This biennial Summit was first held in 2003, when Narendra Modi was the State's Chief Minister. The three-day summit witnessed over 25,000 delegates and 120 participating countries. Delegates included John Kerry, US Secretary of State and Jim Yong Kim, President, World Bank.  Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, addressed delegates, promising that he seeks to make India the 'easiest' place for doing business!

The event which witnesses grand investment commitments by business leaders across the globe saw 21,000 MoUs and 1,225 Strategic Partnership Agreements. Some of the major exchange of MoUs was carried out between the World Bank, the Government of India and the Government of Gujarat. Some of the highlights of the Summit were:
  • The World Bank will support Gujarat with the 'Swachhta Abhiyan' mission and help in building smart cities
  • The World Bank projects 6.4%  economic growth in India in 2015
  • Mukesh Ambani's Reliance pledged  INR 1000 billion across industries in 12–18 months
  • Aditya Birla Group announced investment plans of up to INR 20 billion in the State
  • The US Secretary of State is keen to increase bilateral trade between the two countries from USD 100 billion to USD 500 billion
Optimism in the air
Speaking at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2015, Modi emphasised that the government would pursue "predictable and transparent" policies. As Modi stated, "(Ease of doing business in India) is a prime concern for you and for us. I assure you that we are working very seriously on these issues. We want to make them not only easier than earlier, not only easier than the rest, but we want to make them the easiest."

He also promised, "to upgrade manufacturing infrastructure, as we are setting up world-class investments and industrial regions along with dedicated freight and industrial corridors".

On the second day of the Summit, Arun Jaitley, Union Finance Minister eased concerns regarding the adverse impact of retrospective taxation on investor sentiment and assured industry that the Centre was determined to bring in "perfectly non-adversarial taxation".
Jaitley further said, "I see the economy growing much faster in months to come. In order to attract investment, direction must be clear, pace of moving in that direction must be reasonably quick."

While the large pledges are certainly impressive, we hope to see a vibrant economy with a noticeable increase in such investments both in Gujarat ant the rest of India.

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