Mr. Ishige, Chairman, JETRO, Ladies and gentlemen!
I am very happy to be in Japan once again. I am also quite excited to interact with you here. I had visited this great country in 2007. This time, I have come to personally thank the Government of Japan for the positive developments thereafter. I thank Japan Government for its pro-active engagement and co-operation with the State of Gujarat. I also thank the people of Japan, the industry, their organizations and the media for their trust and active involvement in the State. I particularly thank JETRO without whom this was not possible.
In fact, after 2007, mutual exchanges between Japan and Gujarat have become a regular affair. It appears that Gujarat has become the second home of Japanese people. We whole heartedly welcome this development and hope that this trend will continue and become further better. I had said this earlier and now I am repeating that I want to see a mini-Japan in Gujarat. I wish that Japanese should feel at home in Gujarat. We are committed to create those conditions. I am sure, I will go back with more learning in this regard. I am thankful to the Government of Japan for making my visit possible. I particularly thank His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan in India for playing a very pro-active role. A very high level delegation of the leading industrialists of India and Gujarat is also present here with my Government team. I hope that the interaction with them will be useful.
Friends! Japan and India have had deep cultural bond and historic relations. Lord Buddha is a binding force between us. In modern times, Swami Vivekananda and Tagore reinforced the mutual understanding. Moreover, both countries have a common administrative culture. Both believe in a liberal society and democratic governance. Thus, we already had a strong ground to think together, and to stand together. In recent years, we have moved further closer. By now, it is clear that we can work together fruitfully.
I have been saying that the present century belongs to Asia. Japan has shown to the mankind what can be achieved by dedication, precision and hard work. I have always admired this country for its perseverance and industriousness. Similarly, India has the foundation of its tradition and the strength of its talented human resource. For Asia to be the Global Hub of 21st century, Japan and India both are going to play major roles. If the strength of intelligent process of Japan can be matched with the strength of intelligent and young people of India, we can do wonders. Moreover, India has a huge market. Its growing middle class and its working youth have the highest ever purchasing power. Thus, India has the will to produce and also the capacity to consume. What India mainly needs is the technology: to produce better, smarter, and in lesser costs. Japan, with its track record in research, development, innovation and technology, can join us to serve the Indian and global markets.
Friends! Like Japan, Gujarat is also attached to its culture. Gujarat has also shown that it is possible to go high without weakening the roots. Today, Gujarat is contributing immensely to the national economy. Our motto is: Gujarat’s growth for India’s growth. Gujarat’s growth is dedicated to its enterprising people, stable Government, proactive business environment and futuristic policies. Our economic model is equally dependent on three main sectors of economy: agriculture, industry and services. We have tried to build social, physical and industrial infrastructure that drives growth in and through diverse economic activities. Moreover, our state wide gas grid, state wide water grid, 24×7 electricity across all villages and the state wide ICT infrastructure is propelling the economic activities in remotest corners of the State. Because of this basic infrastructure, our rural areas are no longer just consumption centers but also production hubs in various products.
Gujarat has completed the first phase of development in terms of providing basic amenities including water, electricity, road connectivity and civic services. Now, we are on the path of second phase of development in line with the fast growing economies of the world. With its maritime location dotted with excellent ports, Gujarat is an ideal place to do global maritime trade, particularly with the Middle East, Europe and Africa. We are the gateway to India’s vast hinterland also. Our robust physical, social and industrial infrastructure and skilled manpower is an edge which Gujarat offers over many other global locations.
Today, Gujarat is the industrial and corporate face of the country. It is evincing investors’ interests from all corners of the world. We have also ensured that the investment proposals are processed fast and fructify faster. Gujarat is reckoned as the ‘Growth Engine of India’. The biggest enabler of this strength is the futuristic infrastructure which the State has created. In recent years, there is further focus on building world class infrastructure. They include the Special Investment Regions (SIRs), Industrial parks and Logistics parks. They are going to be the building blocks of Gujarat as a ‘Global Business Hub’. Moreover, because of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) project, there are new and historic opportunities to partner in infrastructure and to set up industries, institutions and amenities. Our SIRs are going to be the global hubs of economic activity supported by efficient world class infrastructure. Also, they will have a policy framework based on the best practices in the world. We invite the global investor community, particularly from Japan, to examine the potentials in Gujarat.
To give a shape to Japan-Gujarat business relations, we invited Japan to become partner in our Global Investors’ Summit. We are grateful to the Government of Japan for this partnership. It is adding to the confidence of Japanese and Gujarati businessmen. Almost on a daily basis there is Japanese company or delegation to explore the potential in Gujarat. We are committed to help them and to give them not only a good working environment but also a good quality of life. That is why we are setting up two Japanese townships. These townships will provide full eco-system for the people, managers and workers from Japan. It will include among others, Japanese language schools, Japanese restaurants, and of course, golf courses.
Gujarat has the least unemployment in India. Moreover, there is complete co-operation between the industry and the work force. There is almost No man days loss. To make the skill sector still better, we have created institutions to promote innovation and prepare the manpower for the same. In addition, we have promoted a number of new educational and training institutions including colleges and universities in specific domains. The intake capacity our engineering and other training institutes has increased five-fold in ten years. We are working towards becoming a scientifically driven society in the years to come. Presently, our maximum focus is on social and human development. I want to achieve the human development index of the developed countries. In the urban sector some of our projects including mass rapid transport have been a global success story. There are a number of such examples. Our Government is promoting e-governance in a big way. This is bringing lot of speed, accuracy and transparency in the system. We have been getting National and international awards for our social projects and administrative interventions on a regular basis. This includes UN Public Service Award and the Asia Innovation Award.
Friends! I have been dreaming and saying that I want to make Gujarat ‘a globally preferred place to live in and to do business’. I have also said that whatever best happens on the earth, must happen in Gujarat. Going further, I want to see Gujarat as a technology based society and as an innovator. And all this is to be done on a sustainable basis. This is necessary so that, we do not enjoy only in the present generation. We must leave the same potentials and opportunities for the future generations. To make all this doable and sustainable, we need to modernize our technology and practices. All this needs investment. In Gujarat’s case, the requirement is huge and immediate because our dreams are big, our time frame is shorter and our capacity to execute is substantial. And this creates the opportunity for foreign investors.
Friends! I have been thinking that Japan has the strength of experience; Gujarat has the power of enterprise. Japan has Technology; Gujarat has the talent to absorb it. Japan has the keenness for discipline; Gujarat has the zeal for perfection. If the two sides can meet; we can create not only a great future for ourselves, but for the whole world community. Together, we can give a lot to the world. Particularly, we both are keen on low cost, zero defect manufacturing and efficient managerial processes. Let us join hands. Our strengths are complementary. I invite the Japanese industry to Gujarat. I invite the Japanese people to Gujarat. I invite you to make your own home in Gujarat, your own Japan in Gujarat. We would be happy to give you the environment and encouragement in doing that.
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