Over the last one year, we have seen states compete for investments, and as an investment destination Andhra Pradesh has two great assets: a very high level of entrepreneurship of the Telugu people, and the leadership – focused, conscious of challenges but determined. It is a state moving ahead with determination, said Mr Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs & Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, encouraging investors to invest in the state. He was speaking at the inaugural session of the CII Partnership Summit, organized with the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Government of India, in Visakhapatnam. This is the 22nd edition of CII’s flagship annual event, and this year’s theme is ‘Partnership for a Shared and Sustainable World Economy’.
Appreciating the challenges that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu faces – and assuring him of Central support – Mr Jaitley said that Andhra Pradesh is moving towards a situation where people will see new institutions being built, greater ease of doing business, greater transparency and good governance and that the state could well emerge as the engine of growth for India’s economy.
In his address, Mr Chandrababu Naidu, spoke how they were working towards creating a business environment and the infrastructure required for business to prosper. They were simplifying policies and processes to reduce permissions, having single-desk clearances, and giving all clearances within 21 days to set up businesses within the state. This, coupled with factors such as abundant land, skilled labour, lack of labour unrest, coastline/ports that the state offers, would help him realise his vision of making Andhra Pradesh among the top 3 states within India by 2022 and the best destination in the world by 2050. He was expecting a double digit growth of 13-15% to make his vision a reality, and urged industry to invest in the state.
Smt Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Government of India, spoke of how although Andhra Pradesh has an ancient civilization, it is a new state with its challenges. However, she lauded the leadership of the CM, and stressed that with the resources that the state offers – land, water, skilled manpower, the spirit of entrepreneurship – investors would do well to invest in the state. She re-iterated the commitment of the Union Government to work with the State Government to help the state move towards comprehensive growth.
Mr Amitabh Kant, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, said that in the competition of states on 100 parameters of Ease of Doing Business, Andhra Pradesh stood 2nd, a remarkable performance by a newly formed state, and the way things were shaping up, the state is poised to give a run for its money to the winner, Gujarat. He said he expected the state to record double-digit growth and emerge as the driver for India’s economic growth.
In his welcome remarks, Mr IYR Krishna Rao, Chief Secretary, Government of Andhra Pradesh, said that the state offered tremendous resources and strengths which could be leveraged to the advantage of industry.
Industrialist Mr Anil Ambani, Chairman, Reliance ADA Group spoke of the potential of the state and the astute leadership and commitment of the Government, stressing that this was in tandem with that at the Centre, making it an ideal time and destination for investment. Drawing references from the world of cinema, he spoke of MI – Make in India, SI – Skill India, and CI – Clean India (Swachch Bharat Abhiyaan) and said that they have signed two MoUs with the state at this Summit. He spoke of the potential of the state, especially in naval/maritime area and urged people to invest in the state.
Industrialist Baba Kalyani reiterated the faith in the potential of the state and said he had signed two MoUs at the Partnership Summit, saying that a manufacturer should not miss the opportunity to invest in the state.
Mr GM Rao, Chairman, GMR Group, said that what made the state an ideal investment destination – apart from the resources everyone had mentioned – was the strong leadership of CM Naidu, who put Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh on the global map, and continued to work with the same dedication and zeal for the development of the state.
Earlier, Mr Sumit Mazumder, President, CII and CMD, TIL Ltd, welcomes everyone to the Partnership Summit and spoke of the need to dwell upon the need improve connectivity between potential regions that are underserved in terms of infrastructure, skill development and training to unlock productivity, and trade facilitation at this platform to find solutions that would boost economic growth.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII appreciated the relationship CII has had with Chief Minister Naidu and said that this is the 4th edition of the Summit under his leadership. He thanked him for his support and encouragement and said that the Summit has grown over the years and this year there are over 1600 delegates with more than 350 from 41 countries, strong business participation and over 600 B2B meetings scheduled, and requested participants to optimally utilize this opportunity.