Vibrant Gujarat: Birlas, Ambanis Start With a Chunk of Investments

Vibrant Gujarat: Birlas, Ambanis Start With a Chunk of Investments

Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani and chairman of Aditya Birla Group Kumar Mangalam Birla.

New Delhi:  Within an hour of the start of the Vibrant Gujarat Business Summit, three major industrialists had pledged investment of over Rs 1,20,000 crore in the state.

While industrialist Mukesh Ambani said he would be investing Rs 100,000 crore, chairman of Aditya Birla Group Kumar Mangalam Birla said he would invest Rs 20,000 crore in infrastructure sector. Sam Walsh, the CEO of British-Australian mining giant Rio Tinto Group, promised to add 30,000 jobs in the state's diamond cutting industry.

"We are proud to be a Gujarati company," said Mr Ambani. "We request every investor to follow our steps, invest in Gujarat and benefit themselves."

"Gujarat is the most preferred destination for us," Mr Birla added.

"I applaud Prime Minister Narendra Modi's clarion call to companies around the world to come 'Make in India'," David Farr, the CEO of US-based Emerson Electric Company said in his address.

The Prime Minister would be speaking later today at the three-day biennial event that he founded as Gujarat's chief minister in 2003, ramping it up into a pitch to put the country on the investment map.

In his address today, the PM is expected to promote his 'Make in India' campaign launched in September to fire up a manufacturing sector which lags behind China.

"All of us will mutually benefit by the interactions in the coming two days," Chief Minister Anandiben Patel said. "We want to become an education and healthcare hub. Agriculture, food processing and dairy are very important for us."

US Secretary of State John Kerry leads the roll call of politicians and business bosses who are present at the Gandhinagar bash, counting on Mr Modi to unleash big-bang reforms and create one of the few bright spots in a troubled world economy.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon and World Bank supremo Jim Yong Kim will join about 50 top CEOs from India and abroad at the summit.

Under the previous Congress government, investors frequently complained about a hostile business climate in India, frustrated by bureaucracy and corruption.

In contrast, Gujarat won a reputation as India's most investor-friendly state during the era of 'Modi-nomics', even if critics say he tilted the playing field in favour of big business through tax breaks and subsidies.

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