In a near incredible feat of sorts, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi met foreign envoys or delegates from as many as 29 countries and top executives of 12 foreign companies over one-on-one meetings or in groups during the two-day Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit-2011 which concluded at Mahatma Mandir today.

One-on-One meetings were held with the delegations from Israel, Brazil, France, Mozambique and Uganda, among other countries, besides Astra Polymers of Soudi Arabia and Simagra of Spain.

Those who praised the Gujarat’s development model included National Knowledge Commission Chairman Sam Pitroda, ADB President Hafiz Rehman, US-India Business Alliance, Business Council from British Commonwealth, Women Parliamentarians and Legislators from the US.

They were in addition to high-level delegations from 13 States of India, office-bearers of a number of trade and industries organizations and dignitaries, who evinced keen interest to partner Gujarat in various development projects. Delegations from Jharkhand, Bihar, Assam and other North-East States were in high praise of the Vibrant Gujarat.

Mr. Modi was also present during the signing of MoUs in all the six seminars held today on Financial Services, Urban Development and Water Resources, Ports and Shipbuilding, Exclusive Social Business and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

Speaking at the seminar on SMEs, the Chief Minister said that Gujarat is keen to harness solar energy to maximum level, and encourage setting up solar manufacturing equipment units. It is not enough to warn against climate change and discuss clean-green energy. It should be converted into action.

Minister of State for Industries and Energy Saurabh Patel called for intensive research on reducing the cost of generating non-conventional energy, essential to bring down the input cost of productions.

With growing consumption of electricity with limited sources of fossil fuels, he said, the world would have to fall back on clean and green wind, solar, tidal energy, bio-fuels like jatropha and recycling solid wastes, in the near future.

Gujarat’s Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Fakirbhai Vagehla and Principal Industries Secretary and GIDC Chairman Maheshwar Sahu were present at the seminar.

IDBI CMD R. M. Palla said that Gujarat Government’s proactive policy has resulted in unprecedented growth of the SME sector in the state. Export-Import Bank of India CMD Ranganathan said that Gujarat’s strategic geographic location maintained a high growth rate.

On the occasion, Mr. Modi presented cash awards of Rs. one lakh each in various SME sectors to Mr. Parmanand Shah of Harihar Foods of Gondal, Mr. Jaymin Vasa of Vama Pharma, Mr Iqbal Memon of IM Products of Mehsana, Mr. Kirit Gajera of Surat Engineering, among others.

The national SME award winner belonging to SC/ST Mr. Gautam Makwana was also felicitated by the Chief Minister.

Delegates from Japan, Korea, Germany, Italy and other nations attended the seminar, besides Union Energy Secretary Ashok Lavasa and Director Ashwin Kumar.

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