It is highly unlikely that the United States will continue to be a partner for the upcoming 8th edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, expected to be held in January 2017. The US was among the 12 countries to whom Gujarat government sent formal invitations. Of them, six nations have agreed to partner Gujarat for the biennial event that has been held since 2003.
“It is a political decision and with elections in the United States, we are not sure if the US will participate as a partner country this time. It is however their call,” said an official of iNDEXTb (Industrial Extension Bureau) — an arm of the Gujarat government that has been organising the event — while talking to The Indian Express.
In 2015, the US joined the Vibrant Gujarat Summit as a partner country when US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Gandhinagar and spoke at the forum. “The United States was honoured to be a partner country in 2015 when Secretary Kerry led a large delegation… The one thing that I pointed to the (Gujarat) CM and his staff is that the event takes place roughly one week before the inauguration of the new US president. So we are right at the tail-end of one administration and right before a new one takes office. The timing is a little bit challenging, but we will give it a very serious consideration. Regardless of the US government representation because of the timing issue, we will expect a large and active business delegation. There is an increasing interest among US businesses in India for various reasons and Vibrant Gujarat is a great platform for them to have B2G (business-to-government) and B2B (business-to-business) meetings,” said US Consul General Thomas Vajda during a media interaction Thursday.
Of the 12 invites sent, Canada, Japan, Poland, UK, the Netherlands and Australia have agreed to be partner countries. “Others like UAE, France and Germany are yet to confirm,” the iNDEXTb official added. USA’s neighbour — Canada — is expected to bring the largest delegation of about 300 delegates.
Gujarat government is holding a series of roadshows in different countries, including one in the US which begins Thursday. A delegation from the state will also travel to China for a similar roadshow in October.
Make in Gujarat series
The Vibrant Gujarat summit will also have a “Make in Gujarat” series where focus will be on nine core sectors, including heavy engineering, electronics, automobiles, aerospace and defence, textiles, plastics, chemicals and petrochemicals, food processing and bio-technology, the official added.