Friday, January 12, 2007

More SEZs needed, look at China’s progress: Modi


AHMEDABAD, JAN 11: SEZs are here to stay and they can’t be wished away.
This was the chief minister Narendra Modi elaborating on his vision for
Gujarat during his inaugural address at Ahmedabad Science City on
Thursday. The occasion was the opening of the exhibition ‘Discover
Gujarat’ under the aegis of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors’
Summit. The exhibition showcases the growth potential of the state along
with its socio-economic and cultural heritage. With the investors’
conference kicking off on Friday, Modi in his inaugural address said
that the exhibition would help prospective investors from across the
globe understand the state better. “I am looking at an empowered India
and Gujarat has to lead the empowerment of the country by example,” the
chief minister said. “Gujarat has to play the role of pacesetter for the
rest of the country,” the chief minister said, adding that with the
economy opening up, there was a strong need for developing global
perspective and function accordingly. As 21st century is being projected
as the century of Asia in the global economic arena, he said that while
China and India are globally being viewed as two of the most potential
countries for investment in Asia, the environment in the country was a
lot friendlier to investors than China. Emphasising on the development
of more special economic zones (SEZs), Modi said that the robust growth
of Chinese economy is largely a result of successful establishment of
SEZs in that country. “SEZs have come to stay and they determine and
impact the trends of global economy for decades to come, whether we want
them or not,” he added. The century is heading towards an economic
revolution and Indian economy stands to immensely benefit from the same,
provided the policymakers make the right decisions, Modi said adding,
“Whether they decide or not, Gujarat cannot and will not wait for
development.” “With 1,600 km stretch of coastline, the state has
strategic advantages from the port-led development process,” Modi said,
adding that the state government is working towards developing complete
support infrastructure to facilitate the functioning of these ports,
being set up across Gujarat coastline.
Speaking on the occasion, Habil Khorakiwala, president, Ficci, said that
the state is now displaying the positive results of liberalisation with
double digit growth rate. Great work has heen done in the areas of water
management, health and education in the state, Khorakiwala observed,
adding that this has resulted in zero farmer suicide in Gujarat, unlike
in other states. Others who spoke in the occasion included Amit Goradia,
chairman, Gujarat Ficci, and Gujarat Principal Secretary (Industries) D


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