The Maharashtra government on Saturday announced its plans to host a global investment summit, the first such event to be held in the state, in a bid to attract foreign investment. The summit: ‘Magnetic Maharashtra: Convergence 2018’, will be held between February 18 and February 20 in Mumbai. With the proposed event, Maharashtra joins a long list of states that have organised investment summits. The Vibrant Gujarat Investment Summit, anchored for many years by present Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has been perhaps the most prominent of all such events. Speaking at the curtain raiser event, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis said the government is focusing on building a “future-ready” state, which would be a hub for “industrial innovation and smart manufacturing”. He added, “With our maiden global investment summit, we aim to strengthen Maharashtra’s position as the gateway for all industrial investments in India where the best minds, industries and government machineries converge to co-create.” The three-day event will be organised by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). It aims to scale up manufacturing activity in Maharashtra, in order to promote employment and better infrastructure. Speaking about the state’s manufacturing prowess, Maharashtra industries minister Subhash Desai said, “Manufacturing, which is the driving force of Make-in-India contributes 21.43% to the state’s gross state domestic product (GSDP). Today, Maharashtra contributes 15% to National GDP and is estimated to grow at 9.4% in the current fiscal.”
He added, “We have attracted 45.24% of the total foreign direct investment (FDI) received by the country in the first-half of the fiscal. Maharashtra worldwide is recognised as the finance and entertainment capital of India. With Magnetic Maharashtra, we are truly on the path of making Maharashtra also the trade and manufacturing capital of India.”
This statement clearly highlights the government’s thought process. While Mumbai is clearly the financial capital of the country, Maharashtra hasn’t exploited its true potential in developing manufacturing as a sector. The other area it clearly lags behind is on technology services — the southern states and NCR region are miles ahead in this segment as well as in fostering a start-up culture. In a bid to promote new innovative business ideas and a start-up culture in the state, the Maharashtra government will also organise a competition for the best new start-ups at the summit, with cash prizes of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 30 lakh and Rs 20 lakh for the top three winners.
The summit will include interactive seminars, panel discussions, CEO roundtables, and B2B and B2G meetings. It intends to bring together heads of the state and central government, leaders from political and corporate world, policymakers and academicians under one roof.