RIYADH: Saudi businessmen in large numbers will participate in the high-profile international business summit to be held early next year in Gandhinagar, capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat.
The event titled ‘Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit’ (VGGS), to be attended by several heads of state, will be inaugurated by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Jan. 10 next year. This was disclosed here by Rajiv Kumar Gupta, principal secretary of India’s Gujarat state government.
Gupta, who is leading an Indian business mission to promote VGGS in the Gulf countries, told Arab News in an exclusive interview: “The VGGS is receiving tremendous response in the Kingdom.”
The delegation, led by Gupta, is currently visiting the Gulf region, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Qatar.
This nine-day long trip of the Indian officials and businessmen is part of an international outreach program, aimed at promoting the business summit.
Focal sectors of the delegation include energy, chemicals and petrochemicals, tourism and hospitality, education, infrastructure development, and financial services, which are of great interest to the Gulf states.
Gupta was speaking on the sidelines of a dinner reception hosted by a prominent philanthropist, Nadeem Tarin, who is also the chairman of the Riyadh-based Delhi Public School (DPS). Zafar Yunus Sareshwala, chancellor of India’s Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), together with several Saudi and Indian businessmen were present.
Referring to his wide-ranging talks with officials of the chambers of commerce in Jeddah, Riyadh and Dammam, as well his interaction with top officials of the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) and the Indian diaspora, he said: “The Kingdom is our partner country … the two countries have reported progressively growing relations.”
Gupta, who is also the managing director of India’s Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd., said that Saudi Arabia and India are working closely in different sectors. He said that many Saudi businessmen have already been enlisted for participation in the VGGS. The summit will offer a common platform for knowledge sharing, strategic partnerships and investment inflows.
“Gujarat itself has become a favorite investment destination for businessmen from around the world,” said Sareshwala.
The VGGS will be organized in Gandhinagar from Jan. 10 to Jan. 13, said Tarin, who will be attending the summit from the Saudi side.
The summit will bring together heads of states and governments, ministers, executives from the corporate world, and senior policy makers from around the world to further the cause of development and cooperation.
The forthcoming Gujarat summit has a theme of “connecting India to the world” and the Gujarat government, within the framework of this theme, has invited 12 countries, including the Kingdom to attend the summit.
It has also sent out delegations to different countries to promote this business jamboree in Gujarat.
Gujarat is a prosperous state in western India.
A number of workers including professionals, business executives, doctors and engineers from Gujarat are working in the Kingdom, which is home to over 3.2 million Indian expatriates as of today.

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