Moving a step closer to realising his dream of setting up an indigenous International Financial Services Centre at Gandhinagar on the lines of Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore exchanges, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday symbolically ushered India’s arrival on the global capital markets...
Moving a step closer to realising his dream of setting up an indigenous International Financial Services Centre at Gandhinagar on the lines of Hong Kong, Dubai and Singapore exchanges, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday symbolically ushered India’s arrival on the global capital markets map by striking an electric gong heralding the inauguration of BSE’s international exchange at the new Hiranandani Signature Tower here.
On his two-day visit to Gujarat as the chief guest for the eighth edition of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, Gujarat’s biennial business summit which kicks off in Gandhinagar on Tuesday, the PM spoke about his vision for the GIFT city at the inauguration of the BSE International exchange. “My vision for GIFT City is for the centre to become a price-setter for financial instruments like commodities, rather than a price-taker,” the PM said in a brief impassioned speech.
Addressing the gathering, Modi said, “There is criticism that India has stopped becoming a price-setter for even Indian currencies. GIFT will be able to mitigate such criticism to a large extent. But my vision for GIFT is more than that. My vision is that in 10 years, GIFT should become a price-setter for financial instruments including commodities.”
Commenting on the new exchange, Modi added, “We have the location advantage of catering to both the east and the west. This exchange will set new standards for quality of service. GIFT aims to provide on-site talent with off-white technological facilities. It will enable Indian firms to compete in an equal footing with off-shore financial centres. It is not easy to provide big countries like India with off-shore centres, as it creates several regulatory challenges but it is being done here.”
Speaking of when GIFT had been first conceptualised in 2007, Modi said, “India has a leadership position in IT. At the time of GIFT’s conceptualisation, it was becoming clear to us that finance technology would be an important part of India’s future development. It was clear that we would need to have the best facilities. Our aim was to provide world-class facilities to India’s world-class people in finance and technology. Today, we have reached an important landmark in achieving that vision.”
“Over 10 years I expect this city to generate several lakh jobs,” the PM said reminiscing about how he would often think of bringing the financial experts of Indian origin that he would meet during his trips abroad to provide financial leadership.
“India is in excellent time zone between west and east and GIFT City can provide facility through day and night. This exchange will start with Japanese market’s start and close when US markets are closed. It will work for 22 hours,” Modi said.
Earlier in the day, the PM took part in the ‘Bhoomipujan’ that marked the beginning of the upgradation project for the Gandhinagar railway station. The R250 crore project entails redeveloping the Gandhinagar Railway station as a modern hub. According to Indian Railways, the redeveloped Gandhinagar railway station will be India’s “first railway station jeweled with amenities at par with modern airports’.
One stand-out feature of this redevelopment project would be the construction of a 5-star hotel on top of the Railway station. This hotel would have around 300 rooms and will be aimed at catering to the delegates who travel to Gujarat for various summits. This would also serve as a convenient option to tourists.
Soon after participating in the railways function, the PM proceeded to inaugurate the Vibrant Gujarat trade show, held under the aegis of Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2017.