Gujarat setting up global finance-tech hub
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Gujarat setting up global finance-tech hub

Thursday, 28 June 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Ahmedabad: Gujarat is setting up a 30 billion ($735 million) finance and technology hub which will be the state's "gift to the nation", Chief Minister Narendra Modi said Thursday.

At the foundation stone lying ceremony for "India's first integrated global financial and technology city" - called the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City - here, Modi said: "Keeping with the image of the Gujarati entrepreneurship, skill and business acumen, the globally benchmarked financial service city will consist of an international financial city segment, a domestic finance segment, a technology park and an integrated township with ancillary support."

He invited Gujaratis abroad, who form a sizeable section of non-residential Indians (NRIs), to invest in the ambitious project.

"We are offering you high quality financial service at reasonable cost. So here is a 'gift' to your business. Your contribution can make Gujarat an attractive destination for financial tourism," he said.

The high-tech wired city is being built on a 500-acre plot on the banks of the Sabarmati river, 8 km from Gandhinagar. Its first phase will be completed by 2010.

The project is being developed by the Gujarat Urban Development Company Ltd (GUDC) and leading finance firm Infrastructure Leasing & Finance Services Ltd (IL&FS)

"The GIFT is expected to generate 150,000 direct employment opportunities in the white collar sector of finance professionals, chartered accountants, stock brokers and lawyers besides thousands of IT experts. It will also give indirect employment to 900,000 as maintenance personnel," Modi said.

As many as six investors from India, Britain, Japan and Singapore Thursday signed memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with IL&FS to develop over 2 million square feet of floor space in the financial city.

"GIFT is designed as the hub of global finance industry that would provide back-office and support service to Mumbai, the financial capital of the country," said IL&FS chairman Ravi Parthasarathi.

With the annual growth rate in double digits, Gujarat is seen as a prime mover of Indian economy.
Source: IANS
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