The United States on Monday became the 8th partner country for Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit 2015. So far it had refrained itself from previous editions of biennial business event given the diplomatic visa ban on former CM Narendra Modi invoked in 2005 for alleged violation of religious rights during 2002 communal riots.
The Gujarat Government has taken the economical giant on board when only two months are to go for seventh edition of three-day event to be inaugurated on January 11 by Modi, now PM at Gandhinagar.
“We are a partner country now”, said a senior official from US commercial service department that is handling the issue from its Ahmedabad office.
Chief Minister Anandiben Patel also on Monday in a letter to US Ambassador Kathleen Stephens accepted their expression of interest to become a partner. Last week, Stephens had in an official email to Patel tendered apologies for delay in joining as partner country and formally expressed intention in this regard. That was first official correspondence by US.
Stephen was extended an invitation by Patel in August during her maiden visit to Gujarat. Besides, her predecessor Nancy Powell was also extended a similar invitation by then CM Modi in February 2014. Powell had paid a courtesy visit to Modi after he was selected Prime Ministerial candidate by the BJP. The first official correspondence came two weeks after US consular general Thomas Vajda during his Gujarat visit had made an announcement in this regard while talking to media. .
Japan, Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Netherlands, Singapore and South Africa are already on board.,
“US is the eighth country to join VGGIS as partner”, said Gujarat Government spokesperson and health minister Nitin Patel. It will have a booth in Vibrant Gujarat Trade Show and will present a country seminar in the summit.
The members of US India Business and CEOs of Fortune 500 companies will also be taking part, said spokesperson.
Stephens in her letter last week had also expressed possibility of strengthening business ties by inviting Indian and Gujarat government officials for training in labour workforce and skill development with Manufacturing Extension Partnership under department of Commerce.
Modi, who following visa ban could not make a US trip during his 13-year-long tenure as Gujarat CM, in September made a first tour as PM. There he had also met CEOs of fortune 500 countries. These CEOs are expected to attend the summit, which so far has seen participation by captains of India Inc in big number.