Vibrant Gujarat Summit kicks off; Indian, foreign cos announce huge investments

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Gandhinagar, Jan 11, 2015, PTI: Large conglomerates from India and abroad today announced huge investment and job creation plans at the two-day Vibrant Gujarat Summit, which kicked off this morning in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and leaders from across the world.

While Reliance Industries chief Mukesh Ambani said his group would invest Rs 1 lakh crore in 12-18 months across businesses, Kumar Mangalam Birla of Aditya Birla Group announced investment plans for Rs 20,000 crore in the state.

Among foreign companies, Australian mining giant Rio Tinto’s CEO Sam Walsh said the group would add 30,000 jobs in diamond cutting industry in Gujarat, adding that Australia is looking forward to the state as a promising business destination.

Vibrant Gujarat Summit (VGS) is a biennial global business summit, being held since 2003, when Modi was Chief Minister of the state, and has always seen huge investment commitments running into billions of dollars being announced by business leaders from India and abroad.

Speaking at the seventh edition of VGS, Modi said there is a need to work for sustainable and inclusive growth and fluctuations in the global economy is the biggest concern.

Modi said various countries are coming forward to work with us and India also wants to work with global leadership on issues ranging from poverty to ecology.

On the first day of the VGS 2015, various leaders and experts from across the world also called for greater reforms in the country.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, who was also present, said tax and subsidy reforms are essential for inclusive growth in India.

US-India Business Council President and Mastercard CEO Ajaypal Singh Banga said American investors want to be in India and he is here to bridge the gap between what can be done and what they are capable of doing. "The world is awakening to the promise of a resurgent India," he added.

Japanese auto giant Suzuki Corp’s chairman Osamu Suzuki said Gujarat is superior in terms of infrastructure and administration, adding that he sees "India becoming consolidated into one economic identity under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi."

Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said the state has become a global business hub and everyone would benefit from the three-day summit.

Among Indian business leaders, Mukesh Ambani invited the companies from across the world to invest in the state, while Birla said, "We have a personal bias for Gujarat and our ambitions are woven with the state."

Singaporean Minister S Iswaran said "Singapore companies have strong commercial interests in Gujarat", while British Trade and Development Minister Lord Livingston said they will open a new deputy High Commission in Gujarat in a few weeks.

Netherlands’ Foreign Trade Minister Simon Smits said India should focus not only on ’Make on India’, but also on ’Research and Design In India’.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon lauded Indian government’s efforts in using more renewable energy, while US Secretary of State John Kerry said he is "highly inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s slogan of ’Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’.

Macedonia Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski expressed interest for collaboration and mutual economic empowerment for the countries.

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