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Address by Consul General Abhishek Shukla at the Seminar on Investment and Trade Opportunities in Gujarat, India, held in Cape Town on Sep 14, 2018.

Posted on: September 17, 2018 | Back | Print

Mr. J P Gupta, Principal Secretary (Water Supply), Government of Gujarat,

Mr. Solly Fourie, Head of Department, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Western Cape Government,

Mr. Sid Peimer, Executive Director, Cape Chamber of Commerce & Industry,

Ladies and gentlemen,

It’s a matter of great pleasure for me to extend a warm welcome to the delegates from the Indian Province of Gujarat and to you today morning to this Seminar on Investment and Trade Opportunities in Gujarat.

Gujarat is one of the most developed provinces in India. With a rich tapestry of history and culture, solid industrial base, excellent infrastructure, progressive administration, sustained period of robust economic growth, the famed entrepreneurship of Gujaratis (i.e. the residents of Gujarat), world acclaimed educational and skill training institutions and excellent resource base, including long coast line, Gujarat has come to occupy pride of place among Indian provinces and a prime contributor to the growth story that is India.

Gujarat is at the forefront in implementing Government of India’s flagship initiatives like Make In India, which promotes manufacturing and industrialization in India, Skill India which focusses on providing right skill set to Indians so as to feed the growth in manufacturing, services and other sectors, Digital India which encourages increasing the share and use of technology in processes and service delivery, Start-Up India which seeks to reinvigorate innovation and entrepreneurship, and several other such schemes in economic and social sectors.

India is currently a beacon of growth in the world. With a GDP growth rate of 7.1% in financial year 2016 and 8.2% in the first quarter of 2018-19 financial year ending June 30, the Indian growth engine is firing on all cylinders. Last year on October 31, World Bank in its Ease of Doing Business global rankings ranked India at 100, up from 130, on the back of sustained business reforms over the past several years. This is just the start. With a unified and simpler national indirect taxation regime in Goods and Services Tax, popularly known as GST in place since 1st July, 2017, and a sustained economic reform and process simplification drive, India is poised to jump several notches up in this year’s Ease of Doing Business rankings.

Global behemoths are smitten by the potential Indian market offers and the confidence it’s economy inspires. Samsung opened the world’s biggest mobile factory in India in July, Walmart became the largest shareholder in Indian e-retail giant Flipcart in a deal worth US$ 16 billion, IKEA recently opened its first store in Hyderabad and plans to open 18 more in next few years. These is just a snapshot of foreign investments into India; the domestic investment scenario remains highly enthusiastic.

Events like the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit which is scheduled to be organized in Gujarat in January, 2019 have been drivers of such growth initiatives and melting pot of the entrepreneurial energy. With the scale this Forum has acquired, it will be safe to say that this is the ‘mother of all business summits’ in India. I will leave it to my colleagues to take you through its offerings in subsequent presentations.

I wish the delegation from Gujarat a successful trip to Cape Town and a fruitful engagement with all you esteemed guests.

Thank you.