Gujarat CM Narendra Modi came in for lavish praise from Indian business leaders at the Vibrant Gujarat Summit that began today. The Gujarat CM uses his marketing savvy to bring drive investment into his state.
On this occasion, Mukesh Ambani, the chairman of Reliance Industries announced a 500-crore university to be set up in collaboration with the Gujarat government.
Initiated by Mr Modi in 2003 to attract investment, the summit is attended by thousands of corporate ledaers who pledge billions in investment, although in reality, only a fraction of the promised amount has been invested. Of the Re. 12,40,000 crore investment proposed in 2009, only 8.5 % had been spent by November 2011.
The industry in Gujarat is helped by a long coastline and plenty of barren land that is easy to change to factory use. Ford Motor and Maruti Suzuki are also building plants in Gujarat - high profile investments that carry the added benefit of acting as marketing tools.
In the seven years till March 2011, Gujarat's economy grew an annual 10.08 % against 6.45 % in the eight years till March 2002 (Mr Modi took office in October 2001), which is ahead of the pan-India average of 6.16 %. In comparison, the policy paralysis at the national level has caused a drop in corporate investment, making India record its slowest annual growth in a decade.