'Blasts won't shake Gujarat's business confidence'

'Blasts won't shake Gujarat's business confidence'

Sunday, 27 July 2008, 07:00 Hrs
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Ahmedabad: Saturday's 16 serial blasts here, the largest number in any Indian city so far, that killed over 40 people will have no negative impact on Gujarat's investment climate, state Industry Minister Saurab Patel said Sunday.

"You can rest assured that the blasts will not have any impact on the business and investment climate in Gujarat which is poised to forge ahead on the growth front. I am very confident about this," Patel told IANS.

Industry association leaders and business consultants agreed with the minister.

Sunil Parekh, business consultant and advisor to many corporates, said this one incident is not going to vitally affect the flow of investments or would not have any negative impact. He said such incidents now occur everywhere.

He recalled that China received substantially larger flow of investments after the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy agitation. He, however, said if the attacks recur in the state, it could be a matter of serious concern.

Chetan Tamboli, former president of the Gujarat chapter of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), said terror attacks were now a global phenomenon. "The business and industry everywhere have learnt to take (these) in their strides and move forward."

"In my view, Gujarat is on the threshold of getting 50 percent more investment than what was promised in the 2007 Vibrant Gujarat event," he added.

Chief Minister Narendra Modi also expressed confidence Saturday night that the blasts would not hinder Gujarat's development and progress. "Gujarat is committed to growth and development, and we are sure that this cannot be halted in any way," he said.

Vimal Ambani, president of the Gujarat chapter of CII, said: "I see the blasts more as an effort to whittle down India's growth. First it was in Bangaluru, and then Ahmedabad."

He added that all political groups should "sit together and evolve a common strategy to meet the terror challenge".

"The blasts may dampen investors' confidence, but investors, whether Indian or foreign, are mature enough to know that the terror challenge exists everywhere and they have to move head. So I have no doubt that investors will overcome whatever temporary dampening effect as a sequel to the incident and move forward."

The state opposition leader, Shakitsinh Gohil, also said the terrorist attack may have little effect on business climate in the state.

According to former industry minister Anil Patel, the blasts may affect the confidence of foreign investors, while the Indian investors would continue their operations.

He added that the setbacks, if any, will be only brief since the state government is committed to preventing such incidents in the future.

Recently, Germany's Deutsche Bank observed that Gujarat was an attractive investment location. In a research paper on infrastructure investment scenario in India, the bank said Gujarat offered the best investment potential among all states and union territories in the country.

The Reserve Bank of India in its analysis of corporate investments during 2006-07 and prospects for 2007-08 stated that Gujarat garnered over 25 percent of the total spending proposed by corporates across the country.
Source: IANS
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