Narendra Modi's Gujarat to have a World Trade Centre

Written by Avinash Nair | Gandhinagar | Updated: Feb 20 2014, 01:47am hrs
Chief Minister Narendra Modi's Gujarat is all set to have a World Trade Centre of it's own. On Wednesday, chief executive officer of New York-based World Trade Centers Association (WTCA), Eric Dahl received an "allotment letter" to build one at the GIFT City project at Gandhinagar, where the association will invest over Rs 600 crore along with an Indian partner.

"We have a local partner in India and will be building a facility of a million square feet (of built-up-area) that will attract small and medium entrpriseses which will be connected to our global network. It will create an eco-system for global trade. Tenants in our building will be part of the international community which will be good for their exports and imports," said Dahl about the project that is expected to take shape within the next three years.

This World Trade Centre for financial & allied services will be built along with the Viridien Group which is coming up about eight WTCs including those in Noida and Chandigarh. The centre will connect businesses around 343 locations worldwide. The cities of Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Kochi, Mumbai, etc have their own WTCs.

"It is a unique project. It will have a special profile and will be focussed on financial section, diamonds and technology," added Dahl who was among the five persons who received "allotment letters" from Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for investing a total of Rs 1000 crore in the ambitious Rs 78000 crore GIFT city project which is currently at a nacent stage of development and is being positioned as a state-of-the-art Global Financial Hub, to rival those in London, Tokyo, Paris and Shanghai.

The second biggest investor to put its money in the GIFT project is the country's largest public sector bank, The State Bank of India (SBI). The bank will be investing Rs 150 crore and building an exclusive commercial tower within the project that currently has two towers that are ready for occupation. "We will be developing a new tower of 2 lakh square feet in the project. We will intially be moving our offices at Bhadra locality in Ahmedabad city here," said AN Appaiah, chief general manager, SBI who was present during the occasion.

The other who received allotment letters at a national seminar held on the fourth floor of one of the existing towers in the project include Global Insurance Services (India) Private Limited which will be developing a Skill Development & Training Centre of insurance sector at a cost of Rs 100 crore, iPlex (which will occupy 4000 square feet of space in SEZ area of the project) and Tata Communications Limited which is developing a Rs 150 crore data centre.

Meanwhile, the Hari Sankaran, MD of IL&FS which is developing the GIFT City in partnership with the Gujarat government said, that a number of firms from the United States are "awaiting the out come of the Lok Sabha elections" to invest in the GIFT project.