Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is all set to pitch with global investors and corporate leaders at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, his plans to position the state, which is a top investment destination, as a global manufacturing hub.
This will be Fadnavis’s first foreign trip after taking over as CM three months ago. The other state that is also making a pitch as an investment destination is Andhra Pradesh whose Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu has been aggressively trying to woo investors, especially from the Far East.
According to officials, Fadnavis will accompany a high-level delegation from India led by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley for the annual World Economic Forum meet beginning January 21. The high-profile annual event will have over 2,500 corporate and political leaders from across the world in attendance.
German Chancellor Angel Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Pakistan Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Switzerland President Simonetta Sommaruga are scheduled to participate in the event. About 100 business leaders from India are also expected to attend the meet.
Given the state of the global economy, the meet will discuss ‘The New Global Context.’ Sources in the CMO said besides participating in discussions on water, food security and biotechnology and an investor summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, Fadnavis will also hold individual meetings with global business leaders to attract investments to Maharashtra.
Apurva Chandra, Principal Secretary, Industries, confirmed that one-to-one meetings had been lined up with representatives of at least 12 global firms, including Novartis, Bayer, General Electric, Volkswagon, Nomura, Cognizant, Schindler and Air Liquide.
Building on the ‘Make in Maharashtra’ theme, the chief minister will stress on the “ease of doing business” and the “investment climate” in the state. The thrust will be on wooing manufacturing industry giants. The CM will be accompanied by senior officials from the CMO, the industries department and the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation.
In the run-up to his maiden trip, the CM has been holding review meetings on various infrastructure projects, including those in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region. The CM is also scheduled to review the status of initiatives planned to improve ease of doing business in the state on Thursday.
A special docket is being prepared to promote Maharashtra as an investment destination with special thrust on attracting investments in manufacturing, pharmaceutical and IT sectors.
Fadnavis’s predecessor Prithviraj Chavan had also picked Davos-Klosters for his maiden foreign trip as Maharashtra CM last January. While Chavan had led an independent Maharashtra delegation then, Fadnavis will be part of the centre’s high-level delegation. CMO sources said arrangements were in place to promote in social media achievements of the CM’s maiden trip.