The six-day global expo will see over 1,000 firms from 16 countries displaying their products
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors meet by throwing open a mega trade exhibition that has over 1,000 firms from as many as 16 countries displaying their products, even as the highlight of the sixth edition of the summit is an international conference of academic institutions with expected participation of 200 delegates from 130 institutions from 50 countries.
The six-day global trade show spread across over 1 lakh square metres is being touted to receive a whopping 15 lakh visitors and has 13 domes, 14 pavilions, over a thousand stalls and over 25,000 products on display. The Chief Minister said: “The global trade show is one of the largest of its kind in the country… Gone are the days when the States could not hold events comparable to those in Delhi and elsewhere.”
“We’ve come a long way”
Mr. Modi said the first edition of the investors meet hosted a modest exhibition and “now we have come a long way.”
The Chief Minister said the trade show “offers a unique opportunity to corporate houses, institutions and industrial giants not only to showcase their innovations, products and services to a large gathering of Indian and global audience but also facilitates meaningful business-to-business interactions resulting in serious business and trade opportunities.”
On display are products and service innovations from key sectors such as engineering and automobiles, oil and gas, energy and power, chemicals and petrochemicals, financial services, IT and IT-enabled Services, as also environmental technology and renewable energy.
Besides partner countries Japan and Canada, there is representation from the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Israel and Mozambique.
In sharp contrast to the previous editions that spoke about the number of industrial MoUs signed and their worth, which has been disputed for its poor rate of implementation of around 25 per cent, the new aspect of this version of the much-touted Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit is a two-day conference of academic institutions aimed at knowledge sharing and strategic partnerships. Says the State’s Principal Secretary for Industries Maheshwar Sahu, “The summit this time focuses on forging knowledge-based strategic partnerships and global collaborations.”
According to D.J. Pandian, Principal Secretary of Energy and Petrochemicals, and Hasmukh Adhia, Principal Secretary for Education, the academic conference that underlines the theme of this year’s investors’ summit is looking at internationalisation of higher education in Gujarat, promotion of R&D and innovation and skill development. “Prestigious universities from the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and several other countries have confirmed their participation,” Higher Education Commissioner Jayanti Ravi said.