More than 3,000 investors from India and overseas gathered at the inaugural event of the two-day Global Investors Meet, organised by the Karnataka government in Bangalore on Thursday. Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa said about 400 MoUs are likely to be signed during the event, involving an investment of more than Rs. 3.5-lakh crore.

The first MoU to be signed by the Karnataka government was with ArcelorMittal, the world's biggest steel producer. The company proposes to establish a six million tonnes per annum integrated steel plant, and a 750 MW power plant, in Bellary district, involving an investment of Rs. 30,000 crore.

Lakshmi N. Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, said, “Since the onset of the global recession, developing countries, especially in the BRIC nations, are on the fast track, while the industrialised countries have slowed down.” Strong domestic demand has provided greater stability of these economies, he remarked.

Mr. Yeddyurappa said the government had offered more than 100 infrastructure projects in the State to private companies, including 18 industrial estates spread over an area ranging from 30 acres to 2,500 acres. He said the government's decision-making process had been put on “the fast track.” “We will cut the red tape and roll out the red carpet for investors,” he said.

Arun Jaitley, Leader of the Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, said, “Investments will result in profits, but profits need not be looked down upon, as they used to be till a few years ago.” Subodh Kant Sahai, Union Minister for Food Processing, urged other States to emulate Karnataka. Veerappa Moily, Union Minister for Law and Justice, said the event “is a great opportunity for investors because it comes just as the world is embarking on a recovery.”

Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of the Aditya Birla Group, said the “progressive attitude” of the Karnataka government and its provision of concessions and incentives had helped industry.

‘More aggression needed'

Azim Premji, chairman of Wipro Ltd, said the Karnataka government “should be more aggressive in drawing investments in manufacturing.” He referred to Tamil Nadu, pointing out that the Government of that State had been able to draw investments from companies such as Dell and Nokia in hardware manufacturing units.