The biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit (VGGIS), which starts on January 11, will see participation from even Congress-ruled states such as Maharashtra, Delhi and Himachal Pradesh, a senior Gujarat government official claimed today.
“While all 28 states were invited, so far, 21 have confirmed their participation. We are awaiting a confirmation from Jammu and Kashmir," said M Sahu, principal secretary, industries department, Gujarat.
“The idea is to generate more business during the summit, for Gujarat and also for the participating states. There would be delegations of different sizes. Some states are sending a bigger delegation, while others are sending relatively smaller groups. But, in all, 21 states have confirmed participation,” he explained.
A brainchild of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ is a flagship knowledge-cum-investment summit started in 2003 and has since been held once every two years.
The last summit in 2011 had seen participation from 12 states, primarily BJP-ruled ones like Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Karnataka. Andhra Pradesh was the only Congress-ruled state that had participated in the 2011 summit.
This year, the number of states participating has not only gone up from 12 to 21, but the event seems to have gained a foothold among states that are ruled by the BJP's political rival Congress.
Industry insiders feel that establishing the Vibrant Gujarat brand among non-BJP ruled states, is in line with Narendra Modi's national ambitions.
Karnataka has been roped in as the official partner state for the summit this time.
With Japan and Canada as partner countries, around 30 countries are participating in the 2013 event.
According to government sources, over 5,000 delegates from 110 countries are likely to participate in the two-day event. Delegates representing business councils of the US, the UK and Australia will also join the event.
It may be noted that UK diplomats led by the British High Commissioner, James Bevan had met Modi in October 2012. This was perceived as a move by the UK government to end the diplomatic boycott of the Gujarat chief minister for the 2002 post-Godhra riots.