Mr. James Bevan, High Commissioner of UK
Members of British delegation,
My Colleagues and friends!
At the outset I welcome, His Excellency Mr. Hugo Swire, my friend Mr. James Bevan and members of the British delegation to the land of Mahatma Gandhi. Indeed, its matter of great satisfaction that relation between UK and Gujarat is on fast track. We have lasting relations with Great Britain and are co-travelers in this journey of progress, development and wellbeing of humanity.
As you know, in last January, we organized Vibrant Gujarat Summit wherein 121 countries participated. In this summit, in addition to our other partners, UK – India Business Council was also a partner organization. The UK Trade Commission also participated in the Trade Expo. In fact, Indian Diaspora present in UK forms the strongest bridge between UK and India in general and Gujarat in particular.
Friends, as we all know, Mr. Hugo Swire has been a great advocate of close cooperation and collaboration between UK and Gujarat. I take this opportunity to thank him for guiding this process and leading from the front. His travel to Gujarat to participate in this event shows how much importance UK Government attaches to this partnership. This also shows his commitment to promote UK – Gujarat collaboration.
Gujarat is one of the most industrialized states of India and today attracts investments from different parts of world, in various sectors. Many Gujarat–based companies are also investing in UK and creating jobs. This two-way investment helps both the countries. I would like to see this grow, and grow faster.
You will be happy to note that Gujarat is becoming energy hub of India. Gujarat has been a model for the development of natural gas and energy industry in the country. For the benefit of everyone, let me highlight few points:
- Gujarat has the largest refining capacity, which is 43 percent of the total installed capacity of the India.
- State has the largest pipelines network, which accounts for one-third of the total pipeline network of the country.
- Gujarat has already developed 2 LNG terminals, which handles almost 80% of India’s LNG imports.
- State is having surplus electricity generation and exports the power to other parts of the country.
- Gujarat has accorded highest priority to climate change and therefore focus is on clean energy i.e. wind and solar energy. More than 60 percent of India’s total solar and wind power is produced in Gujarat.
- Gujarat energy utilities are rated best in the country. Yesterday, Union Government released the report wherein all four A+ rated utilities are from Gujarat.
To ensure inclusive growth and development, we are expanding the gas supply network in rural areas. Today City Gas Distribution in Gujarat covers 1.1 million households and sell 1.2 million kilogram CNG per day catering to 700 thousand vehicles.
Friends, business needs progressive policies. My Government not only evolve such policies but evolve with active participation of all stakeholders. With 1,650 km long coastline, we have LNG Terminal policy which promotes and facilitates more LNG terminals in the State.
With excellent infrastructure, now industries are in all parts of the state. In fact, as a part of equitable and all round development, we promote industries to go to remote areas also. With this, demand for clean energy has risen and with state-wide grid, Gujarat is the only state in the country, which can provide the required energy to any industry at anywhere in the state.
Perhaps because of such progressive policies and its transparent implementation, today Gujarat is known as Growth Engine of India. The people of Gujarat are proud that in spite of two massive downturn in world economy, Gujarat has achieved double digit growth during the last decade.
Friends, to facilitate and achieve faster growth and development, you need well trained manpower backed by first class research input. To cater the human resource need of oil and gas industry, Government of Gujarat has set up Pandit Deen Dayal Petroleum University. I’m sure that this will help in catering the human resource need of the oil and gas industry in the state.
I must reiterate the commitment of my Government to promote clean fuel and clean energy to cater the need of such a fast growing economy. State will facilitate the expansion of infrastructure to develop oil and gas sector. We will continue to pursue our goal to make Gujarat a gas–based economy.
I’m happy to witness this signing of MoU between GSPC and British Gas. This will ensure that growth of gas sector continues. It is heartening to note that not only Gujarat and UK, but our companies are also joining hands in providing not only energy security but come out with such initiatives which also ‘protect environment’ and minimize the adverse impact of climate change.
I would like to congratulate GSPC and British Gas for entering into this historic agreement and wish them a great success. I also take this opportunity to request His Excellency Mr. Hugo Swire to come back to Gujarat with more time at his disposal. I thank him for taking personal interest in promoting and expanding UK – Gujarat relations. I’m sure that relation between UK and Gujarat will grow further and attain a great height for the benefit of all.