First, some facts on Vibrant Gujarat from TOI article
Gujarat has clearly marketed itself well as a destination where there is money to be made. Representatives of 30 countries and 60 transnationals are coming to the two-day event starting on Monday. There are heads of state, diplomats, political delegations, company CEOs, bankers and financial institutions flocking to Science City in Ahmedabad where the event will be held.
At the end of Vibrant Gujarat 2009, MoUs worth Rs 7 lakh crore ($140 billion) are expected to be signed. In this depressed environment, this is simply staggering.
On all growth parameters, Gujarat is ahead of other states, laying stake to its claim as ‘The Growth Engine of India’ — the catchline of Vibrant Gujarat. Link
Pied Piper to the Muslim world
11 Jan 2009, Harit Mehta, TNN
AHMEDABAD: Call it the seven-year itch. Those many years after the 2002 Gujarat riots, Chief Minister Narendra Modi is changing partners. And it is having effect, as the Muslim world too now sees this tainted state and its government in a new light.
The fourth Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’ Summit 2009, which will unfold on Monday, is drawing a huge participation from Islamic countries, as well as those which are predominantly Muslim.
This, even as US and European Union continue to deny Modi a visa to visit their countries on the grounds of alleged state complicity in the riots which killed over 1,000 Muslims. Also, human rights groups still allege that the Modi government has continued to thwart the process of justice for the riots victims. And terror organisations place Gujarat high on the hit-list, the latest grim reminder of which came on July 26, 2008, when 19 serial blasts killed 58 people in Ahmedabad.
Among those who have confirmed their participation is AS Vashishi, representative of The Arab League, officially called the League of Arab States. This 22-nation outfit includes members like Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Yemen.
United Arab Emirates (UAE) send a business delegation from the National Investment Office, representing Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain.
There are also delegations from Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Brunei, Iran and Indonesia in the list where participation has been confirmed.
Prof Dwijendra Tripati, former faculty at IIM-A in business history and former president of the Indian History Congress, said: “Gujarat had rigorous mercantile trade with countries around the Red Sea and Persian Gulf for many centuries. This trade continued even after the East India Company came on the scene. The fourth Vibrant Gujarat marks a distinct change in the outlook of the world towards Gujarat and so the Muslim countries too are coming looking for opportunities.” End