Expo 2020 Dubai: Come and invest in Gujarat, says CM Bhupendra Patel – Khaleej Times

Thursday, Dec 09, 2021 | Jumada Al-Uola 5, 1443
Published: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 12:14 PM
Last updated: Thu 9 Dec 2021, 12:17 PM
Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel — on his maiden foreign trip — on Wednesday met several business leaders of Dubai and visited the UAE pavilion at the Expo 2020 to promote the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) and attract foreign direct investments (FDIs) in the state. The two-day VGGS Roadshow recorded the signing on 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth more than $3.97 (Dh14.58) billion) across various sectors.
The two-day VGGS Roadshow recorded the signing on 19 Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) worth more than $3.97 billion (Dh14.58 billion) across various sectors.
Patel took time off from his hectic schedule to speak exclusively with Khaleej Times.
Edited excerpts from the interview:
The 10th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat summit is scheduled to be held from January 10 to 12, 2022. How will this roadshow in the UAE help?
Gujarat is the best-performing state in India in terms of industrialisation and attracting FDIs. We are confident that the summit will help build on our growth momentum to achieve and facilitate new partnerships between business communities in India and the world.
The UAE-India comprehensive strategic partnership introduced a few years ago has boosted economic cooperation and aligned the ambitions of both countries. Large business groups in the UAE are well-positioned to leverage their resources to invest in Gujarat and benefit from the economic opportunities in our state.
I’m here to invite potential investors and businessmen to visit us at the VGGS, our biggest biennial investment conference. The participants will benefit from meeting and networking with more than 5,000 businessmen, industrialists, investors, bankers, project developers, and senior government officials seeking new business opportunities, potential project collaborations, strategic partnerships, and innovative ideas.
How has Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose brainchild is Vibrant Gujarat, shaped the biennial event through the years?
VGGS, a biennial event, was conceptualised in 2003 under the visionary leadership of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India (then the Chief Minister of Gujarat). Today, the VGGS has evolved into one of the most reputed global forums for business networking, knowledge sharing, and strategic partnerships for inclusive socio-economic development.
VGGS has repositioned Gujarat not only in India – but on the global map as a preferred investment destination globally and helped change the economic landscape of the state.
Due to the visionary leadership of PM Modi, Gujarat has emerged as the most industrialised state in India and continues to propel India’s growth agenda through inclusive and sustainable development. With a meagre 5 per cent of India’s population, Gujarat contributes 8 per cent to India’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Data shows that 17 per cent of industrial output and over 20 per cent of India’s exports trace their origin to Gujarat. Gujarat’s manufacturing sector accounts for 37.5 per cent of the state’s GDP, which is higher than the national average of 17 per cent. Gujarat attracted highest FDI equity inflows worth $21.9 (Dh80.44) billion during financial year 2021, which is 37 per cent of the total FDI equity inflows across states in India.
Gujarat tops the chart in sectors such as textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, gems and jewellery, renewable energy, maritime and automotive.
How is Gujarat opening its doors to foreign investors?
Driven by proactive policymaking, Ease of Doing Business, an investor-friendly approach, robust industrial infrastructure and augmented quality of life, Gujarat is the most preferred investment destination and to do Business by Indian and global conglomerates.
Companies from the United States of America (USA), Japan, France, Germany, Netherlands, the United Kingdom (UK), Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, the UAE, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar have shown keen interest in investing in Gujarat across various sectors like renewables, chemicals and fertilisers, food processing, financial services, etc.
The Gujarat government is inviting foreign investors to benefit from $82.86 (Dh304.35) billion worth of business opportunities through 928 mega projects.
Of these, 223 projects are in the Transport sector, worth $40.44 (Dh148.54) billion, followed by the materials sector having 98 opportunities worth $24.81 (Dh91.13) billion, while the water and sanitation sector has 168 opportunities worth $10.4 (Dh38.20) billion. According to a report by India Investment Grid, the state’s Energy sector has 84 projects worth $11.88 (Dh43.64) billion.
What are the advantages of investing in Gujarat?
Gujarat’s geographic location helps it offer excellent connectivity both within and outside the country. Supplementing that, the state has an extensive and modern infrastructure network, expanded further by several massive investment programmes. Several international companies have been engaged to build this new infrastructure and upgrade the existing ones to global standards. Consequently, Gujarat has been ranked first in the national ‘Logistics Ease Across Different States (LEADS)’ index of 2018, 2019 & 2021.
The utility offerings (Gas, Power, Water, etc.) of the state are unrivalled against any other state of the country.
Gujarat has developed futuristic investment regions like Dholera, GIFT City, and DREAM City equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure with plug and play facilities for companies looking to invest in Gujarat.
The Gujarat government is known for its business-friendly and investment-supportive environment. It implements a policy-driven approach, offering several incentives to attract investors. Gujarat has always been the leading state for revising regulations in order to create favourable business conditions for investors. The state is also the “best place for startups” as per the national startup rankings offering several incentives and support to startups.
The state offers a readily available workforce. The government has matched population growth by investing in education, skilling programs and women employment initiatives which helps create a pool of directly employable resources. Another interesting point to note is that the state is known for having the lowest labor unrest incidents as well.
With thriving cities and rapid urbanisation, the state’s per capita income has consistently been on the rise. The young & growing population represents a ready market for manufactured goods and services.
What’s the investment target of the Gujarat government?
We do not limit ourselves with a target as the opportunities are limitless in Gujarat.
In this year, our government has cleared several new high valued investment proposals which shows the investor appetite and interest in Gujarat. Now, Gujarat is in a position to attract the highest foreign direct investment in South Asia. For us, even the sky is not the limit!
What are the sectors that foreign investors can invest in and what’s the return on investments (RoIs)?
It depends on the sectors and the industries one wants to invest in. Gujarat offers attractive investment opportunities across all the sectors. The state’s conducive ecosystem, world class infrastructure, strategic location and easy access to export markets helps assure huge returns to the investors.
What’s the role of the Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) of Dubai to woo investments to Gujarat?
We are going to deepen our engagement with all the major business groups in the UAE and invite them to invest in our economy. This is a new beginning for us in engaging with the Gulf region and we have a long-term view in our engagement with the region.
IBPC and other business associations will play a crucial role in bringing in investment into Gujarat. I am going to request them to bring a large delegation to Gujarat – not only in our VGGS, but beyond that.
How can the UAE help the Gujarat government to achieve its investments?
India and the UAE have shared trade links through the centuries. The real impetus, however, started after Dubai positioned itself as a regional trading hub by the early 1990s and about the same time, the economic liberalization process started in India. Growing India-UAE economic and commercial relations contribute to the stability and strength of a rapidly diversifying and deepening bilateral relationship between the two countries.
During my two-day visit, I will be meeting  Sheikh Nahayan bin Mubarak Al Nahayan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), DP World; and several other prominent business leaders from the Sharaf Group, Alfanar Group, Lulu Group, etc.  to invest in our economy and benefit from the opportunities.
Which are the other Middle East markets that the Gujarat government is looking at?
We’re looking at the KSA, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait and Oman – along with other countries to actively participate in the 10th edition of  VGGS2022.
How do you see the Expo 2020 Dubai as a platform to attract global investors for it? Please elaborate on the benefits that you see.
Yes, as we know, World Expo 2020 Dubai is one of the largest global events which is expected to have participants from more than 190 countries. Large corporate houses and multinational institutions are participating in Expo 2020 and more than 25 million visitors are expected to attend the event making it an ideal destination to attract global investors.
This is the most ideal platform to interact, collaborate and invite countries for the upcoming VGGS 2022.
I’d like to mention that Gujarat was the first state to participate in Expo 2020 Dubai as part of the India Pavilion between October 1 and 14.
[email protected]
Be in the know. Get the latest breaking news delivered straight to your inbox.
21 per cent growth was recorded in Dubai property prices during the first 10 months of 2021 as key performing areas continue to produce favourable results; Dubai Marina, Business Bay, Jumeirah Village Circle, Jumeirah Lake Towers, and Jumeirah Islands are among the best areas to buy property in Dubai
Business2 days ago
Emirate's top-line performance was also lifted during the month, as the market reported its highest monthly room rates since 2018
Business2 days ago
Business2 days ago
The reforms will accelerate the transformation towards a new model of the national economy as the nation marks its Golden Jubilee and charts the course of the next 50 years of its ambitious journey
Business2 days ago
Business2 days ago
Business2 days ago
Business2 days ago
Business3 days ago


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.