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Gujarat CM visits UAE to invite global investors to Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2022

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DUBAI : For the western Indian state of Gujarat, Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, a biennial event conceptualised by Indian Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi when he was the chief minister of the state, has been one of the most important platforms to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) to the state.

With the state set to host the tenth edition of the summit that was launched by Modi in 2003, incumbent Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel is making his maiden visit to the UAE to promote the event before the global investor community. Patel visited the India Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai . He is leading a high-level delegation to the UAE. Riding on Expo 2020 Dubai’s international platform, the delegation will engage with dignitaries, global investor community, heads of companies, trade and industry chambers to invite them to the tenth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit scheduled from January 10 to 12, 2022, in Gandhinagar. The delegation is meeting Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, Chairman and CEO, DP World. The Gujarat chief minister’s delegation is also slated to hold a Vibrant Gujarat Roadshow in Dubai .

According to industry reports, at $22 billion (Dh80.91 billion), Gujarat received the highest amount of FDI in India for the financial year 2020-2021, accounting for 37 per cent of the total FDI received in the country. The summit aims to boost it even further.

In an exclusive interview ahead of his three-day trip that began on 8th December, Patel told about how the visiting delegation would get ample mileage out of Expo 2020 Dubai in garnering international support for the upcoming edition of the summit, that will be inaugurated by Modi.

Following are excerpts from the interview with Patel:

Question: With the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation, how are you preparing to welcome international participants to the global summit? Will it be run on a hybrid mode?

BHUPENDRA PATEL: We are closely monitoring the developments. The organising committee shall diligently uphold COVID-19 protocols and adopt all safety procedures as issued by local and international authorities.

Question: How big has the overall impact of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit been? How instrumental has it been in attracting FDI to Gujarat?

Gujarat has taken great strides in developing a resilient, responsive and vibrant economy over the last couple of decades. Today, Gujarat is the most industrialised state in India and continues to propel India’s growth agenda through inclusive and sustainable development. The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summits have played a catalytic role in attracting investments and businesses to the state.

Following are excerpts from the interview with Patel:

Question: With the evolving COVID-19 pandemic situation, how are you preparing to welcome international participants to the global summit? Will it be run on a hybrid mode?

BHUPENDRA PATEL: We are closely monitoring the developments. The organising committee shall diligently uphold COVID-19 protocols and adopt all safety procedures as issued by local and international authorities.

Question: How big has the overall impact of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit been? How instrumental has it been in attracting FDI to Gujarat?

Gujarat has taken great strides in developing a resilient, responsive and vibrant economy over the last couple of decades. Today, Gujarat is the most industrialised state in India and continues to propel India’s growth agenda through inclusive and sustainable development. The Vibrant Gujarat Global Summits have played a catalytic role in attracting investments and businesses to the state.

In 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the clarion call for ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (‘self-reliant India’), which aims to use India’s strengths, skills and capabilities for global good.

In line with this vision, the theme of the tenth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2022 is ‘From Aatmanirbhar Gujarat To Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (‘from a self-reliant Gujarat to a self-reliant India’).

The Summit will deliberate on key national initiatives as well as touch upon topics of global relevance, which include sustainable infrastructure and manufacturing, National Hydrogen Mission, renewable energy, electric mobility and futuristics technologies. This summit will provide a platform to policy-makers, captains of global industries and thought leaders for brainstorming about contemporary global trends, those relating to inclusive socio-economic development and to discuss opportunities for strategic partnerships, trade and investments.

Question: Gujarat’s ties with the UAE are centuries-old. Can we have some details about the trade relations?

India and the UAE have shared trade links through the centuries. Trade, which was dominated by traditional items such as dates, pearls and fishing, underwent a sharp change after the discovery of oil in the UAE (oil exports began from Abu Dhabi in 1962).

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 liberalisation 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.

UAE is India’s third-largest trading partner with imports from UAE amounting to $26.62 billion in the financial year 2020-2021. Gujarat accounted for 19 per cent ($3.2 billion) of the total exports from India to UAE ($16.7 billion) in 2020-2021.

The Indian expatriate community of approximately 3.3 million is the largest ethnic community in UAE constituting roughly 30 per cent of the country’s population. Among the Indian states, Gujarat also constitutes a significant portion of the Indian population in UAE.

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