Gandhinagar: Top industrialists pledged further investments on Friday after Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit that India is poised to be placed among the top 50 countries in ease of doing business by 2020.
Top executives from companies such as the Tata Group, Reliance Industries, Adani Group, Aditya Birla Group, Russian oil and gas explorer Rosneft and Suzuki Motor Corporation praised Modi government’s performance in the last four-and-a-half years, at the inaugural function of the three-day event in Gandhinagar.
Vibrant Gujarat, a biennial event aimed at drawing investments to the state, is the brainchild of Modi when he was the chief minister of Gujarat. The first edition in 2003 attempted to rekindle investor confidence in a state wracked by a devastating earthquake in 2001 and communal violence in 2002.
“India is now ready for business. In the last four years, we have jumped 65 places of global ranking of ease of doing business. I have asked my team to work harder to ensure India is on the top 50 next years," Modi said at the inauguration.
Tata Group chairman N. Chandrasekaran said the summit has set an example in India on how to bring different stakeholders together for progress, development and economic growth.
Chandrasekaran praised the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government in the centre and said its accomplishments are enormous, laying a platform to propel India to significant growth for several decades.
“We are in discussion with the state government for significantly increasing our capacity at Tata Chemicals to reach one million tonnes of soda ash and we have an electric vehicle (EV) plant here (at Sanand) and we want to make further investments, not only in building electric vehicles but also in putting lithium ion battery projects here and we will also be investing in producing renewable energy," Chandrasekaran said.
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chairman Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man, said the group has invested close to ₹3 trillion in Gujarat and created and catalysed more than a million livelihood opportunities there.
“In comparison to the past decades, Reliance will double this investment and employment numbers over the next 10 years," Ambani said.
The RIL chairman, who has been attending the Vibrant summits since the first edition in 2003, said that it was very satisfying to see how every other Indian state has followed Gujarat’s transformative template.
Ambani called Modi a visionary leader and said that under his leadership India has become the fastest growing economy in the world.
Meanwhile, the Adani Group aims to invest ₹55,000 crore in the next five years in Gujarat.
“Over the next five years, our investments will include the world’s largest Solar Hybrid Park in Khavda. The anticipated investment is this park is ₹30,000 crore. We also plan to establish a one gigawatt Data Center Park in Mundra, a one million tonne of copper smelting and refining project, a cement and clinker manufacturing unit in Lakhpat, an integrated lithium battery manufacturing complex and expand our photovoltaic manufacturing capabilities. Overall, we anticipate a total of ₹55,000 crore of investment in all these projects," Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani said.
Modi has fundamentally reshaped India, Adani said, adding that nowhere in recent history has such a massive segment of the population been given the opportunity for upliftment in such a short period of time.
Aditya Birla Group chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla promised an investment of ₹15,000 crore in Gujarat in various sectors. “Gujarat has seen exponential growth without compromising on macroeconomic stability. It’s on the back of the remarkable business-friendly environment that Aditya Birla Group has rapidly increased investments in the state," said Birla.
Guangda Xiang, founder and chairman of Tsingshan Industry, China, said, “Our first step towards India was in Vibrant Gujarat 2017 when we signed an MoU for setting up a big scale stainless steel complex in Mundra in cooperation with Indian partners. Within one year of signing the MoU we started construction of our first phase project, which will be completed in record time of 14 months."
Suzuki Motors chief executive officer Toshihiro Suzuki said his company will continue to introduce cutting-edge technologies in India, along with the Make in India concept, and contribute to sustainable mobility solutions.
Didier Casimiro, the global head of downstream for Rosneft, the world’s largest publicly traded oil and gas company, said Vibrant Gujarat has graduated from an investment promotion event to a forum to forge strong relationships.
Rosneft, which holds a majority stake in Nayara Energy that runs a 20 million tonne refinery at Jamnagar, aims to further invest $850 million for expansion in Gujarat, according to Casimiro.
The leaders of five countries—Uzbekistan, Rwanda, Denmark, Czech Republic and Malta—along with industrialists from various sectors and more than 30,000 delegates from India and abroad are taking part in the Vibrant Gujarat event.
Modi said that international institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have shown confidence in India’s economy and the reforms undertaken in recent times. “We have also made ‘Doing Business’ cheaper. The implementation of GST and other measures of simplification of taxes have reduced transaction costs and made processes efficient. We have also made ‘Doing Business’ faster through digital processes and single point interfaces," he said.