Speech of Mr. Narendra Modi
Chief Minister, Gujarat
At the Inaugural Function of
Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit- 2013
11th January, 2013
Mahatma Mandir, Gandhinagar
Ladies and Gentlemen!
I stand here humbly to welcome this large and global gathering. Friends! This land where you are seated is the Land of Mahatma Gandhi. Gujarat is the land which has given leadership to the entire Nation in several areas including our freedom struggle and the white revolution. The timing of this summit is also auspicious because it coincides with the 150th Birth Anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. We in India believe that the whole world is a family, what we call ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. This belief is even more strongly displayed in the thought and action of the people of Gujarat. They went across the seven seas, centuries ago. Once upon a time, Gujarat was the gateway to the Globe from India. Now it is becoming the Global Gate way to India. And thus, Gujarat welcomes you with open arms to this summit which has grown far beyond the boundaries of Gujarat.
From a small beginning in 2003, this summit has evolved into a a truly international affair. This has happened, primarily because of the support and trust of investors and entrepreneurs like you. In addition to growing big, this event is an example of the evolution and institutionalization of a good intention. The institutionalization has gone to the extent that though the last quarter of 2012 was a period of elections in Gujarat, we decided to hold it on its regular schedule. In spite of several constraints related to outreach, because of Election Code of Conduct, you can see such a huge turnout. I take this opportunity to thank all those who have supported the Vibrant Gujarat initiative. I request each one of you to spend some time to see its various facets before you leave the venue.
I would particularly recommend seeing the Exhibition which is the biggest ever in India. More than a thousand national and international companies are displaying their products and processes. I also encourage you to take advantage of the presence of a large number of players from all over India. The officials of the Gujarat Government have particularly lined up a number of B2B and B2G meetings on the three days of the Summit. Before leaving Gujarat, you should also see our International Kite Festival on 13th January at Ahmedabad.
On this occasion, I would like to particularly thank the Government of Japan and the Government of Canada for their continued partnership with this event. I also thank other partners of the event, particularly CII, JETRO, USIBC, UKIBC, AIBC and the ICCC.
It is my privilege to welcome His Excellency the Vice Minister of METI of Japan, His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan, His Excellency the High Commissioner of Canada, His Excellency the High Commissioner of Britain, His Excellency the Vice Governor of Yunnan Province of China, His Excellency the Vice- Governor of Astrakhan, His Excellency the Ambassador of Denmark, and other Excellencies, members and representatives of the foreign Diplomatic Missions in India who are present here. I warmly welcome Mr. Patrick Brown. I also welcome Hon. Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab. I welcome Hon. Ministers from other States. I particularly welcome all the dignitaries sitting on the Dias and the captains of Indian Industry who are the encouraging face of this event.
I welcome everyone present here. I extend a warm welcome to all the national and international participants, delegates and companies. I also welcome the officials of the Government of India and those who have come from various States of India. I welcome the members of national and international media. A record number of Indian and Foreign companies have joined this event as participants or exhibitors. I welcome all of them. Many Countries and almost all Indian States have decided to make use of this forum and are holding their own seminars. I hope your time spent here will be fruitful and your stay here will be comfortable.
Friends! We are meeting at a very crucial stage of our social and economic life. Last few years have not been very encouraging for the global economy. This has had its impact on the livelihoods and social lives of the people across the globe. Even the fastest growing economies of the world have experienced a slowdown. This situation has impacted India also and the growth of our economy has slowed down recently. It will be a great service to the global community if this forum and platform can display the commitment for betterment of economy and betterment of the lives affected. This platform also provides the scope to debate and evolve mechanisms which make our economies sustainable and dependable. All of us want a solution to this. But none of us are individually competent to find it. Collectively, we can and we must. Thus, the first and foremost expectation from this Summit is send a positive message for the Global Economy.
Despite the global slowdown, our growth rates in Gujarat have not been impacted very adversely. We have acquired an element of resilience in the economy. It stands equally on all three important pillars - Manufacturing, Services and Agriculture. We have thus not only been able to sail through, but have maintained 10% plus growth rate in all the three sectors. Our economy has sustained itself and sustained our jobs and livelihoods. In fact, many of our entrepreneurs have used this time for internal corrections. You will be happy to know that due to these corrections, we were able to withstand the shocks without any labour retrenchment. Even more satisfying is the fact that the managements and labor force have managed the situation in a collaborative manner. This is what Gujarat is known for. Togetherness is our biggest strength. We know how to get together. We know how to stand together. And we know how to grow together.
Friends! Today’s world is characterized by two phenomena- the power of Technology and the power of Information. We in India are further fascinated by the power of our Youth. We have to harness this and to put it to our advantage. We, in Gujarat, have specifically made efforts to use all these three drivers of the modern world. I am a firm believer in three pillars of progress in the modern world: Skill, Speed and Scale. We are using technology to bring in speed in Governance and in execution of programmes. We are focusing on skill development of our youth in a big way. We are also visualizing projects which are innovative, ambitious and futuristic. I firmly believe that this century is India’s century. And to be realistically so, it has to be the century of the Indian Youth. We have drawn elaborate plans for Youth Led Development. Women are going to be equal and active partners in this process. Swami Vivekanand said, “India will be raised, not with the power of the flesh, but with the power of the spirit”. I am sure; we will revive the whole of India with our faith in the power of youth and its actualization.
Gujarat has evolved and implemented many innovative and far-reaching solutions to India’s old and historic problems. Whether it be water conservation or electrifying rural areas. Whether it be ensuring institutional deliveries or enrolling the girl child in education. We have ensured that such problems are solved for good. We have ensured that they are solved with people’s participation. We have also ensured that the solutions become sustainable. We also ensure that they lead to measureable outcomes and visible change for the individual and society. Many of these projects have been recognized at National and International levels. Many are being replicated by other States of India. I say here with utmost sincerity that the development model of Gujarat provides numerous insights for the developing world. We have created a model which makes use of local resources and local talent. At the same time, it offers solutions which are right and relevant in the global perspective.
Friends! Our model of development has brought smiles on millions of faces. That is how I am with you in this event today. Making use of this forum, once again, I want to thank the people of Gujarat and everyone else for giving me the opportunity to serve them. I am overwhelmed by the fact that all of you had so much confidence in this event and its continuity, that you had declared your support in advance. This confidence of people from within and outside Gujarat is a confidence in positivity. However, this confidence of people casts a lot of responsibility on our shoulders. The expectations are high and they are rising. My Government and I are not only committed to fulfill these expectations but to do more than expected. The good thing about the whole situation is that what we promised during the elections is only a continuation and expansion of what we had already planned. Our plans have always been futuristic, robust and responsible. In a nut-shell, we have assured our people that we sincerely want to benchmark our infrastructure, our human development, our technologies and our processes with the best of the world. We have completed our first phase of development, and now we are ushering in the second phase-a more robust, more dynamic, and more modernized Gujarat.
I would like to give you some examples of what constitutes our global vision. Our per capita consumption of electricity is double the average of India but two third of the average of the developed world. We have committed to make it on par with the developed world. Similarly, we have said that cooking gas will be made available to all urban households through pipeline. We have assured our people to construct five million new houses. We have committed to covering even the remaining 30% of the households with piped water. We have resolved that we will enhance the income of our farmers manifold by scientific agri-practices and agro-processing. We have already provided round the clock power and broadband connectivity up to the village level. Now, we have promised Wi-Fi connectivity across the State. We have undertaken to modernize our industrial clusters and make our small and cottage industries stronger. Simultaneously, we will be setting up world class Investment Regions and Smart Cities, world class Ports, Road, Rail, Logistics, Health, Education, Transport, Sanitation, Environmental and Tourism infrastructure. Maximum value addition on natural resources and local products is going to be our new focus. We have already undertaken gigantic initiatives in Solar and Wind Energy. We are already the biggest creator of jobs in the country. Our new initiatives will lead to creation of more than three million additional jobs. And to prepare the human resources, we have committed to create new age Training and Skill Development Institutions.
Friends! Gujarat has always been a high potential location and a rewarding economy. You will find an opportunity in every sector of the economy. You will also find pro-active policy provisions and hand-holding mechanisms to support you. Very recently, a survey has been conducted on the economic freedom of Indian States. I am happy to say that Gujarat has ranked first. I welcome you all with your ideas, initiatives, innovations and entrepreneurship. I invite and encourage you to build your homes and brighten your hopes in Gujarat. I urge you to make Gujarat a productive field for the seeds of your dreams.
Friends, hard core financial investments will always be a desired phenomenon for the economy. However, we have deliberately added newer areas in the agenda of this Summit. This time, our focus is on knowledge, technology and innovation. We want our youth and our SMEs to particularly benefit from this. The emphasis is on R&D, knowledge sharing and building cross-cultural partnerships. We want this summit to become a Bridge of Technology. We want this summit to become an Incubator for innovators and entrepreneurs. We want it to become a global University preparing bright men and women. We want this Summit to be a light house for sustainable development. There cannot be a better place than Mahatma Mandir for this purpose, dedicated to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi. There is no one better than Gandhi to guide us on how to use natural resources for our wellbeing, while simultaneously nurturing and harnessing them.
Friends! History has repeatedly shown us that the economic models based on exploitation will not work. There was a time when exploitation of labour was an issue. We tried to find solutions to it. Today, exploitation of nature and its resources is a burning issue. I will go a step further. Even exploitation of markets is not going to help. Unless the people living in those markets are empowered; unless the local capacities to produce are improved; unless the people are made partners in progress; their purchasing power would not sustain. Only such partnerships will be able to offer the sustainability we desire in our economic, social and personal lives. So, I reiterate that this event is not just about investments. It is not just about projects which give financial returns. It is about injecting positivity in the economic environment. It is about inducting togetherness in our socio-economic activities. It is about bringing Global and Local inclusiveness in our economic processes.
I welcome you once again to the Summit. I welcome you to Gujarat. I will be happy to work with you in the march of your journey. I will be equally happy to see the realization of your dreams. I will be happier to see them realize at the earliest.