By Arpit Goel
Edited by Nandini Bhatia
“If all the world is a stage, here is the theatre,” says one of the hoardings announcing the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2015. Over the stage towers Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who conceptualized and promoted the summit while he was chief minister of the state, way back in 2003: which was attempted to reinforce the confidence of investors in a state wrecked by earthquake in 2001 and communal wildfire. Modi, who showcased this Gujarat model in 2014 elections, has proved to the world that Gujarat is the most investor friendly state of India. This year, partner countries of the three-day summit include the US, Australia, Canada, the UK, the Netherlands, Japan, South Africa and Singapore, with over 250 business leaders, investors, management experts, dignitaries and delegates from 111 countries attending it, the prime focuses of this year’s summit are Innovation, Sustainability, Youth & Skill Development, Knowledge Sharing and Networking. The summit, which has evolved into a Trade show over the years, now has more than 2000 companies participating in its exbhition and has over 1 million people as its visitors.
Mr. Narendra Modi, who believes that this summit is not just a meeting of ideas but of aspirations too, expressed his concern over fluctuations in global economy. India has been ranked the second fastest growing economy by the IMF and now needs more financial inclusion and liberalization to achieve its target of the global manufacturing hub. The current CM of Gujarat, Mrs. Anandiben Patel said that Gujarat is all set to become a global finance centre for India and for this her government is set to build world class infrastructure in Gujarat. She also believes that Mr. Modi is responsible for all such developments, whose leadership has raised Indians’ hopes and revitalized their energies. Mr. Jim Yong Kim who is the president of the World Bank said that tax and subsidy reforms are essential for inclusive growth in India. He also said that the Indian economy is likely to grow at 6.4 per cent in 2015 and accelerate further in the next year under the Narendra Modi-led NDA government. It was also at this summit that Finance minister Arun Jaitley announced that the government is all set to implement a common good and service tax (GST) in the country in the course of next year. Jaitley who believes that government should invest more on infrastructure and incentivize expenditure in manufacturing said investors and manufacturers have long waited for the GST bill which would simplify taxes while broadening the tax base.
In this summit, more than 21000 MoU’s and 1225 strategic partnerships have been signed so far. Corporates from India and abroad pledged to invest more Rs 25 lakhs crore in these 21,000 MoUs, thus matching the plugging associated with this seedling event conceived by Narendra Modi in 2003 as the then Chief Minister of the state. These investments are double the size of 2013’s summit and are at least ten times more than the West Bengal summit which was held recently. Among the major corporate epitomes include names of Reliance Industries, Adani Group, Aditya Birla Group, Suzlon and Videocon, as also foreign players like Rio Tinto, Suzuki and CLP Holdings. The project, after implementation, will create lakhs of jobs for Indian citizens and will make the income statement of the country less skewed.
The Gujarat government has made several policies after this summit and several other steps will also be taken, so that the benefits of these investments can be reaped properly and their implications can be checked to facilitate the eradication of poverty.
The real question arises about the returns of these MoU’s. MoUs to invest an aggregate Rs.42 trillion were signed in the summits up to 2011, but the conversion rate to actual investment remained under 10%, thus questioning the validity of these contracts. With the focus on 3 P’s strategies i.e. Policy, Promotion and Progress, this event has undoubtedly become one of the most successful events of 2015.
Arpit goel is currently a first year student pursuing Bachelor of commerce( Hons) degree in Sri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. He believes in expression of writing and loves sharing his experience with others.Being a Delhite he loves exploring places and trying different cuisines of food. He is aspiring to be an IAS officer in the future.In his free time he loves reading books, listening songs ( any genre) and watching movies(lots of movies!!!). His interests lie in the area of Indian economy, International relations,financial markets and Philosophy. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org