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IACCGH Facilitates ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ Roadshow in Houston

ACCGH Board members present a memento to the Indian delegation.

ACCGH Board members present a memento to the Indian delegation.

King & Spalding, USIBC, FICCI join to promote

HOUSTON – The 2015 Vibrant Gujarat Summit saw CEOs from India and abroad pledging a whooping $500 billion in investments in India, 21,000 MOUs and 1,225 partnership agreements.
Delegations from India are on the road to make the lion roar yet again at its Summit in January 2017. A roadshow in Houston on 12th September stumped listeners with the sheer scale of opportunities that India presents.
Led by Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner, State of Gujarat, members of the delegation sought to explain how Prime Minister Narendra Modi is changing a nation’s mindset from a “socialistic pattern to one of a facilitator and an enabler.” by inviting investors from every corner of the globe to partner with it in its race to become one of the greatest economic powers of the world.
The event held at the offices of King & Spalding in downtown Houston was put together by USIBC, FICCI and the IACCGH. Gaurav Verma Executive Vice President USIBC moderated the event. Michael Taylor, Partner at Kings and Spaldings and event hosts welcomed the gathering. Special remarks were made by Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Judge Ed Emmett and Dr. Robert Robbins, President Texas Medical Center.
Resident Commissioner Bharat Lal outlined the key drivers that helped Gujarat attract the highest FDI in the country such as its infrastructure which includes 14 airports, 43 ports, 2 LNG terminals and good roads, 24/7 electricity and strategic location. A slew of initiatives such as the Dholera Special Investment Region, GIFT City and transparent policies also contributed to making Gujarat the “growth engine of the country.” This model, he emphasized, is to be replicated at the national level by inviting investment at the 2017 Vibrant Gujarat Summit.
Stating that India is undergoing “a transformation on a scale and a speed never seen before.” Deepak Bagla CEO Invest India dwelt on the transformation of an “aspirational population” of 1.25 billion people to “human capital” and the opportunities created in this process.

Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner, State of Gujarat, during a presentation on Vibrant Gujarat

Bharat Lal, Resident Commissioner, State of Gujarat, during a presentation on Vibrant Gujarat

India’s, GDP growth rate of 7.6%, he observed, will need to continue growing at this pace for the next decade. Citing Ernst & Young, he said, that India was the world’s number one destination for foreign investment in the world last year receiving 55 billion dollars – the highest it’s ever received.
Referring to some mind boggling statistics, he pointed out the average age in India is 29. 850-900 million people are under the age of 35, a middle class of over 550-600 million people which makes it an 8 trillion dollar economy by purchasing power parity which is the largest on the globe.
Highlighting facts such as India is the second largest country on the net with close to 400 million users, the Aadhar card gave 1.1 billion people an ID card with biometrics and Startup India which seeks to turn the millions of job seekers to job providers, he stated that India has the third largest startups in the world and hopes to leap to No. 2 by the year end.
Make in India, he continued, is a business plan with 4 pillars to it. Sectors which allows private capital to participate in every sector of this opportunity, Processes which have been reengineered and simplified, Infrastructure is the largest infrastructure opportunity in the world today and Mindset which looks at the world as a partner.

Consul General Ray, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Judge Ed Emmett and Bharat Lal.

Consul General Ray, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Judge Ed Emmett and Bharat Lal.

Returning to the infrastructure opportunities, Deepak Bagla stated that the Government’s plan to create 40 kms of roads per day, 250 new airports and refurbish existing ones, 98 smart cities, industrial corridors, ports and food parks offered a “wallet opportunity of 4 trillion dollars.”
He further added that an Indian will spend $180,000 in his lifetime and multiplied by 1.5 billion people unleashes a purchasing power that is staggering.
The Government, he stressed, is pulling out all the stops to spur foreign investment in India from scrapping 1300 archaic regulations with 2600 more to go, a Single Tax Framework to be in place by April 2017, a Bankruptcy Tax Bill implemented in the new financial year to agencies that will “handhold investors” from state specific inputs, approvals to market strategy.
Group Chief Executive of AECOM, Dhamo Dhamotharan offered a US industry perspective of doing business with India. The Company has several large scale projects in Gujarat and according to him, there was transparency in procurement, support from state agencies and issues addressed within 24 hours. He also observed that if this can be replicated in the rest of the country, India’s GDP growth projections can be a reality.
The event which was one of IACCGH’s Partner Outreach programs to educate the community of opportunities in the US and abroad also facilitated b2b meetings with members interested in investing in Gujarat. Board members presented the delegation with a gold plated map of Gujarat created by local artist Anju Mittal.

For more details, please log on to www.vibrantgujarat.com


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