The curtain rises today on a rare business conclave that attempts to bring together businessmen from Hindu and Muslim communities in the state under one roof. The conclave, with “business harmony” as its theme, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Incidentally, three more arms of the Gujarat government, including Gujarat Tourism and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), have come forward to support the conclave. It will see about 100-odd businessmen, drawn from both the religious communities across the state, interact and explore possible business opportunities and partnerships.
The business-to-business (B2B) event has been organised by Ummat, which runs a dedicated portal, helping over 1,200 Muslim businessmen network with each other in the state. The initiative is “supported” by state government arm Industrial extension Bureau (iNDEXTb) that organises the Vibrant Gujarat summits. “Apart from iNDEXTb, other state government arms, including the Gujarat Tourism, GIDC and Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (GIFTCL),” said Ali Hussain Mohammed, director of Ummat, a city-based socio-economic organisation.
According to organisers, the event is an attempt to “re-establish the trust” that lies broken between the Hindu and Muslim businessmen after the 2002 post-Godhra riots during which a number of businesses and factories, run either by Muslims or in partnerships with members of the minority community, were targeted by rioting mobs in small and big towns across the state.
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Modi is expected to share the dais with some prominent Muslim businessmen from Gujarat, besides those expected from the Middle-East. This “cross-community business platform” will have air-conditioned domes on different sectors, like building, construction and furnishing, industries, automobile, corporate, hospitality and tourism. Local industrial bodies, including Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) and Gujarat Institute of Housing and Estate Development (GIHED), will also be supporting and participating in the event.