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Make in India Week set to rival Hannover Messe

The week-long exposition of India's potential as a manufacturing powerhouse will be one of the largest events of its kind in the country with participation from government and industry leaders from home and abroad

Published: Feb 8, 2016 05:44:31 PM IST
Updated: Feb 14, 2016 12:06:56 PM IST
Make in India Week set to rival Hannover Messe
The Make In India Week Curtain Raiser Press Conference addressing by Shri Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra in Mumbai today. Ms. Nirmal Sitharama, MoS Commerce & Industry, Shri Suryakant Desai, Maharashtra Industry Minister, Shri Amitabh Kant, Secretary, DIPP and Shri swadheen Kshatriya, Chief Secretary Government of Maharashtra were also present Photo: PIB

A block within the Bandra-Kurla Complex (BKC), an otherwise serene office district in Mumbai, is abuzz with activity.

Trucks, cranes and an army of workers make a beeline to enter and exit the MMRDA Grounds in BKC and it is obvious that they are rushing against the clock to finish a project. The difference being that it isn’t just any other real estate project that will dot Mumbai’s skyline.

The dusty earth of the grounds is being meticulously covered with paver blocks fashioned in concrete and red carpets all over. The 220,000 sq ft area is being neatly segregated into individual, air-conditioned pavilions outlined by high-rising wooden partitions with patterns so intricate that they could well resemble the façade of a Mughal-era monument in Delhi.  

The security blanket is thick and it is implicit that something important is about to happen here. After all, this is where a galaxy of personalities, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, almost all important members of his Cabinet and the bureaucracy; heads of states from the world over and the top brass of the largest Indian and global multinational companies will congregate on February 13, 2016, to kickstart the Make in India Week – an exposition meant to showcase India’s potential as a manufacturing powerhouse and attract investments. The event, being organised by the government of India, the Maharashtra government and the Confederation of Indian Industry, will go on till February 18, 2016.

The numbers associated with the Make in India Week are staggering. Around 5,000 delegates from 68 countries are expected to attend the event; 192 Indian and global MNCs will also be represented; four global heads of state will witness first-hand the business opportunities that India has to offer.

Deliberations spread across parallel tracks, to be attended by top Indian and global businessmen and government functionaries, will determine what are the key sectors in which Indian can attract investments and what are the policy enablers that will facilitate this. Business-to-business and business-to-government bilateral discussions are expected to culminate into concrete investment proposals. The week-long exposition will also see other attractions, including the Time India Award (instituted by the Time magazine) and the CNN Asia Business Summit. There is also ‘QPrize Make in India’, India’s largest startup contest to look forward to. It is sponsored by Qualcomm, which will give away Rs 2 crore in prize money as venture capital investment to the winner with the most promising startup.   

In minister of state for commerce and industry, Nirmala Sitharaman’s own words, the Make in India Week will rival the famous Hannover Messe, the world’s leading trade fair for industrial technology organised annually in Germany.

Speaking of the country’s prospects as an investment destination, Sitharaman said India was the only country to witness a growth in foreign direct investment, while there were clear signs of a contraction in the rest of the world economy.

“All global indicators show that the world economy is going through depression. All economies are contracting,” Sitharaman said during a curtain-raiser press conference ahead of the event. “But India clearly stands out with its stable and fundamentally strong economy that has been growing at 7 percent.”

The minister of state, who holds independent charge of the commerce and industry, also pointed out that Indian states were engaging in “healthy competition” to make it easier to do business in their respective territories, and some eastern states like Jharkhand, which have traditionally lagged the rest of the country in industrialisation, have surprised the country with the progress they have made in this regard.  

“Make in India is not a scheme or a programme. It is an initiative through which mindsets have been changed, new processes have been brought in,” Sitharaman said. “The state and central government don’t look at themselves as regulators. We have all now become facilitators for industry or any investments that come into the country.”

And the Make in India Week isn’t just about business. It is also about showcasing India’s cultural heritage. So the coming week will see exhibitions being held across art galleries and museums in the city and a Maharashtra night, a cultural event where the likes of actors Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini are expected to perform.

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