Source: Business Standard

The Gujarat government on Monday made it official that the United States will be one of the partner countries for the state government’s flagship investor meet the Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held in January 2015. US will be the eight country to partner the event. Other partner countries include UK, Netherlands, Canada, Australia, Singapore, South Africa and Japan.

Soon after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit there, the US government had send a proposal to Gujarat government with the latter showing interest in becoming partner country for the Vibrant Gujarat to be held from January 11-13, 2015. It will be for the first time that US will be partnering the Vibrant Gujarat event, a brain child of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, that has evolved over the past decade into an international event where industry stalwarts participate and discuss investment plans.

This development assumes significance as it was the same US government that had denied visa to Modi (then chief minister of Gujarat)  in 2005 over handling of the 2002 riots in Gujarat. However, with Modi going on to become Prime Minister of India, US government has been compelled to change its stand. Also, after Modi’s recent visit to the US and meeting with President Barrack Obama, there is excitement within the business community for enhancing trade relation with India.

“US is now partner country for the Vibrant Gujarat 2015,” said  P Swaroop, managing director of Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb), the nodal agency for the event. US will be the eight country to partner the event, he added.

Earlier, US Consul General in Mumbai, Thomas Vajda had said that his country recognised the importance of Vibrant Gujarat as a platform to support the India-US economic engagement. He had also said that Modi’s visit to the US will re-energise  both the governments to look at a whole range of issues. The visit has also brought excitement among the business community in the US, he had added.

The Vibrant Gujarat 2013 had witnessed participation from nearly 121 countries with over 2,100 foreign delegates and around 58,000 Indian delegates. Japan and Canada were the Partner Countries for the summit and there were Partner Organizations like JETRO, Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC), US India Business Council (USIBC), UK India Business Council (UKIBC) & Australia India Business Council (AIBC). As many as 17,719 Investment Intentions and 2,670 Strategic Partnerships were signed in the areas of Technology transfer, R&D, Education, etc. during the summit.

The earlier edition of the summit in 2011, witnesses investment commitment of staggering Rs 20.83 lakh crore ($450 billion) far higher than Rs 12.37 lakh crore proposed in Vibrant Gujarat summit of 2009. The Vibrant Gujarat is a biennial event organised since 2003 by the Gujarat government to attract investment to the state.