Shri Narendra Modi inched closer to being regarded as the national icon of inclusive development on January 12 as Gujarat government'stwo-day ?Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor'ssummit? got off to a rousing start.
Present at the event was a galaxy of Indian corporate honchos, foreign businessmen and diplomats from 50 foreign countries, the Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga, and experts from diverse fields whom the Gujarat Chief Minister left mesmerised with his power-packed speech calling for balanced and inclusive development and a resolve to fight recession through dynamic entrepreneurial strategy.
The state hosted delegates from 37 countries for the summit. The captains of India Inc such as Ratan Tata, Mukesh Ambani, KV Kamath, Shashi Ruia, OP Bhatt, Sunil Mittal and Anil Ambani also attended the meet. Nano, the world'scheapest car, was undoubtedly the star attraction at the event.
Gujarat roped in the Asian giant Japan as a partner for the summit. Italy'sdeputy chief minister, a minister from Singapore, the Prime Minister of Kenya and top officials of Uganda had already camped in the state for the mega event.
The summit has evoked a good response, despite the global recession, as the state highlighted its achievements in establishing special investment regions, the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor, Gujarat International Finance Tech City, Sabarmati Riverfront development project and SEZs.
Several participants addressed the gathering and discussed future alliances with Gujarat over two days. The state is looking at signing MoUs worth Rs 7 lakh crore, with SEZs, power, port, infrastructure, oil and gas sectors expected to garner the maximum investment commitments.
Shri Modi seemed to have come into his own on the occasion as he called upon the local small manufacturers to aim at defect-free and environmental-friendly manufacturing while exhibiting global vision in order to fight recession and become competitive in the global market.
?Why should the small entrepreneurs of third world countries always follow the models of the developed countries??, he asked as he called them upon to create their own indigenous models befitting the local conditions.
Emphasising that the 1600-km coastline of Gujarat was fast on its way to becoming the gateway of India'sprogress he said the ports coming up on the coastline would cater to the business of the entire northern hinterland being closest to it in terms of distance.
Shri Modi'sspeech was interrupted by repeated applause by a spellbound audience that went to great lengths to appreciate the Chief Minister'svision. Speaking in English but breaking into Hindi in between, Shri Modi said he always saw adversity as an opportunity and that'sthe very reason as to why the summit has proved to be a great success during global recession.
Unravelling his vision for Gujarat, Shri Modi said that he planned to aim at equivalent growth in industrial, agro and service sectors to raise a balanced model of development that would be strong enough to fight any kind of economic slowdown.
?I want a Gujarat which in case of a manufacturing slump or poor crop production would sustain its economy through its service sector and vice-versa?, he said describing the summit as not just a simple investor'ssummit but a powerhouse of knowledge, entrepreneurship and wealth creation.
Speaking with great gusto to an overwhelming audience, which the Foreign Minister of Singapore, Zainul Abedin Rashid, described as the largest ever he had addressed in his career, Shri Modi unravelled his RACE formula to overcome economic slowdowns on a permanent basis?R for low risk, A for alertness, C for low cost and E for efficiency.
?If entrepreneurs followed a strategy based on RACE then they can withstand any kind of economic threat?, he said.
MoUs worth a whopping Rs 7,00,000 crore are expected to be signed by the state government during the summit.
Tata'ssmall car, Nano, was a major attraction at the event, which was displayed for the second time after the auto show in Delhi last year.
Delegations from car companies Nissan, Hyundai and Audi also attended the summit. ?While Nissan and Hyundai have assured the state that their next expansion projects will be based in Gujarat, Audi is exploring the possibility closely,? said a government official familiar with the development.