Investors’ summit gets bigger

Number of participant states rises from 6 to 21, non-BJP ruled states also coming

Keeping with the quintessential Gujarati marketing acumen, Chief Minister Narendra Modi is set to expand his 'brand' at the biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit (VGGIS) to be held next month. For, the 2013 edition will not only see participation of the BJP-ruled states, but also of Maharashtra and Delhi which will be among 21 states participating in the three-day summit beginning January 11.

In 2011, only six states had participated in the event. While Karnataka, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh were ruled by either the BJP or its allies, Andhra Pradesh was the only participant which was ruled by the Congress.

But this time, when the event is being held soon after Modi's hat-trick of poll wins, at least 21 states will be part of the summit along with 30 countries.

While sources in the industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXtb), the nodal agency for the summit, maintained that all the 28 states were invited, Principal Secretary (Industries) Maheswar Sahu said 21 of them have confirmed participation. "All the major states, including Maharashtra and Delhi, will be participating. Only a few states, that too smaller ones especially from the North East, are not likely to participate," said Sahu.

While Modi himself had confirmed participation of 20 states while talking to the media in New Delhi on Thursday, officials said the number is likely to go up in the coming days.

Sources in the industries department said that while Bihar was not likely to come, confirmation from Jammu and Kashmir was awaited.

Each state will be give a stall at the Mahatma Mandir exhibition ground in Gandhinagar. The delegates can have business-to-business interaction or business-to-government meetings. "There will be 14 rooms for B2B and B2G meets. The participants can directly fix meetings with businessmen as well as the government," Sahu said.

Uttar Pradesh, which is likely to host a similar summit in January-end, is likely to have only B2B meetings.

With Japan and Canada as Country Partners, and the US-India Business Council, the UK-India Business Council as Organisation Partners, the summit will not only help Modi to expand his 'brand' at international level, but also within the country where the pitch for a bigger role for him on the national political stage is rising.

In the 2011 meet, a total of 8,860 MoUs pledging investment to the tune of Rs 20.83 lakh crore were signed.

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