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10 Jan, 2024 01:02

Modi wows investors at key Indian trade show

The prime minister has inaugurated the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in his home state ahead of national elections
Modi wows investors at key Indian trade show

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2024 on Tuesday in Gandhinagar in the state of Gujarat, where he served as chief minister from 2001 to 2014.

UAE President Mohamed Bin Zayed is attending the event as chief guest with several other leaders present, including the president of Timor, Leste Jose Ramos-Horta, Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi, and the prime minister of the Czech Republic, Petr Fiala. 

The event is hosting hundreds of domestic and foreign companies as the Modi government eyes major investments ahead of the national election later this year, where he will seek a third term. The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, held January 10-12, is expected to draw 100,000 visitors, including business leaders, chief executives, ministers, and diplomats from 133 countries around the world. 

Apart from hosting major international corporations such as Microsoft, Nasdaq, Google, Suzuki, and Toyota, the companies led by India’s two richest people, Gautam Adani and Mukesh Ambani, will also be present at the event. 

Russia will be represented at the event by a massive delegation, including government officials and businesses from the country’s Far Eastern Federal District, as New Delhi and Moscow explore ways to intensify maritime trade using Arctic routes. 

Modi will seek to attract investors from sectors such as chip-making and electric vehicles (EVs), Reuters said in a report on Tuesday. US companies believe the Modi government will return to power and are pivoting to India while “quietly de-risking from” China, according to Mukesh Aghi, the president of the trade group US India Strategic Partnership Forum, which will take part in the summit.

Elon Musk’s Tesla is also expected to debut soon in the country, as the government has proposed tax cuts to facilitate the EV maker’s foray into the market. Similarly, Apple has also ramped up iPhone manufacturing in India ever since it started local production in 2017 and is eyeing more expansions. 

From 2019 to 2023, Gujarat attracted roughly $34 billion in foreign investment, the third highest among states in India, according to Reuters. Only Maharashtra, the home of the financial capital, Mumbai, and Karnataka, whose capital, Bengaluru, is considered India’s Silicon Valley, attracted more investments. 

Modi, who was the chief minister of Gujarat for over a decade, is largely credited for introducing the ‘Gujarat model’ of development, characterized by a proactive approach to luring large investors to the state.

Moscow is also said to be considering major investments in the upcoming GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City), which is being promoted by the Indian government as Asia’s newest financial hub. The Economic Times reported in 2023 that at least three Russian entities have already applied for licenses with the GIFT City authorities.

Last month, Russian Ambassador to India Denis Alipov discussed “strengthening cooperation” with the governor of Gujarat while visiting the state capital.

S&P Global Ratings predicted last year that India’s GDP will exceed that of Germany by the end of the decade. It also believes that the South Asian nation will be the fastest-growing emerging market over the next three years, with economic growth reaching 6.4% next year and 7% in 2026. 

Last week, India’s National Statistical Office released the first advance estimate of the country’s economic growth this year. It projected that GDP will increase 7.3%, higher than the most recent forecast of 7%, which is shared by the country’s central bank.

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