PM addresses programme marking 20 years celebration of the state’s series of global summits
GN Bureau | September 27, 2023
Prime minister Narendra Modi addressed the programme marking 20 years celebration of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit at Science City in Ahmedabad on Wednesday.
The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit was started 20 years ago, on September 28, 2003, under the leadership of Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat. Over time, it transformed into a truly global event, attaining the status of being one of the premier business summits in India.
Addressing the gathering, the PM remarked that the seeds sown 20 years ago have taken the form of a magnificent and diverse Vibrant Gujarat. He expressed delight at becoming a part of the 20th-anniversary celebrations of Vibrant Gujarat Summit. Reiterating that Vibrant Gujarat is not merely a branding exercise for the state but an occasion to strengthen the bonding, the PM emphasized that the summit is a symbol of a solid bond associated with him and the capabilities of 7 crore people of the state. “This bond is based upon the immense love of the people for me,” he added.
He said it is difficult today to imagine the condition of Gujarat after the 2001 earthquake. Even before the earthquake, Gujarat had been undergoing a long drought. These were compounded by the collapse of Madhavpura Mercantile Cooperative Bank leading to a chain reaction in other cooperative banks also. Modi recalled that it was a new experience for him as he was new in the role in the government at that time. In this scenario, violence erupted in Gujarat in the wake of the heart-rending Godhara incident. Modi said that despite his lack of experience as chief minister, he had full confidence in Gujarat and its people. He also recalled agenda-driven doomsayers of the time as a conspiracy to defame Gujarat was pursued.
“I took a pledge that whatever be the circumstances, I will take Gujarat out of this situation. We were not just thinking about reconstruction but were also planning for its future and we made the Vibrant Gujarat Summit one the chief medium for this,” he said.
Recalling the 2009 edition of Vibrant Gujarat when the entire world was going through a recession, the PM mentioned that as the then Chief Minister of the state, he emphasized going forward and organizing the event. As a result, the PM underlined that a new chapter of Gujarat’s success was written during the 2009 Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
Modi explained the success of the Summit through its journey. The 2003 edition attracted only a few hundred participants; today more than 40,000 participants and delegates and 135 countries take part in the summit, he informed. The number of exhibitors has also increased from 30 in 2003 to more than 2,000 today.
He said that the core elements of the success of Vibrant Gujarat are: idea, imagination and implementation. He underlined the audacity of the idea and imagination behind the Vibrant Gujarat and said that it was followed in other states.
“However great the idea may be, it is imperative for them to mobilize the system and deliver results,” he PM remarked as he noted that this organisation of such scale requires intense planning, investments in capacity building, meticulous monitoring and dedication. He reiterated that with Vibrant Gujarat, the state government with the same officers, resources and regulations achieved what was unimaginable for any other government.
Gujarat governor Acharya Devvrat, chief minister Bhupendra Patel and industry leaders were present on the occasion.
Industry leaders praise Modi’s vision
B K Goenka, chairman of Welspun, recalling the journey of Vibrant Gujarat said that it has become a truly global event. He recalled the vision of the then CM and current PM for whom investment promotion was a mission. He said that the event has become a role model for other states. He recalled his experience during the first Vibrant Gujarat when Modi advised him to expand in the Kutch region which had been devastated by the 2001 earthquake. The advice, Goenka said, proved historic and with all the support they could start production in a very short span of time.
Takashi Suzuki, chief director general, Jetro (South Asia), congratulated the state government for the 20th anniversary of Vibrant Gujarat and said that Japan has been the biggest contributor to the Make in India initiative. Speaking about Jetro’s partnership with Gujarat since 2009, Suzuki said that cultural and business linkages with Gujarat have only deepened with time and credited the guidance of Modi upon whose recommendation, Jetro opened up its project office in Ahmedabad in 2013 to facilitate investments from Japanese companies.
Lakshmi Mittal, executive chairman of ArcelorMittal, said that the trend started by Vibrant Gujarat led to such events in other states also making India a favoured destination for global investors. He credited the PM's vision and efficiency for this. Mittal underlined Gujarat’s status as the leading industrial state and how it showcases global competitiveness in an effective way. He briefed about ArcelorMittal projects in the state.
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