Over 1500 delegates and MoUs worth Rs. 4.78 lakh crores marked the successful end of the three-day partnership summit that brought together industrial leaders, not just from India but also from across the world. As the event came to an end, it kick-started ventures, hopes and dreams for many Vizagites. Prabhakara Sarma brings the rundown of the CII Partnership Summit.
When the first Vice-Chancellor of Andhra University Cattamanchi Ramalinga Reddy described Visakhapatnam as the City of Destiny, it could be because he realised his dream when AU was finally set up in the city. However, there is more in Visakhapatnam. The salubrious climate, scenic beauty–the blue sea, beaches and hills and vast greenery, all are part of Visakhapatnam and it looks destined to have much more. Beginning with a natural harbour, it has a huge operational Naval command which now plays host to the International Fleet Review, the steel plant and a host of businesses. C R Reddy’s prophetic words are becoming true in every sense. And now Visakhapatnam is going to host a Davos-like conference annually.
None other than Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu announced this at the end of the three-day Sunrise Andhra Pradesh Investment Meet and the 22nd edition of the CII Partnership Summit which was a tremendous success and added another feather to Vizag’s cap. The CM was so impressed with the Summit which witnessed 40 bilateral meetings and ten ministers from abroad in attendance, he successfully persuaded the CII to conduct the next year’s Summit also in Visakhapatnam in 2017. But it will be like the World Economic Forum conclaves at Davos in Switzerland by inviting NGOs, academicians, social activists, political parties, trade unions, start-up and stand-up companies, farmers and other stakeholders who would also participate to discuss all issues to make it a comprehensive summit. The attendance next year would be more than three times and the action taken reports would be presented and the progress reviewed.
Babu -Brand Ambassador
Chandrababu Naidu is also serving as a Brand Ambassador for Visakhapatnam. He made a fervent appeal to the investors of the world to make beautiful Visakhapatnam their second home. They should also be brand ambassadors of Andhra Pradesh once they return home by popularising Araku organic coffee grown by the tribals in the agency area, which is known for its fine aroma and special flavour. Organised on the eve of the harvest festival Sankranti from January 10 to 12, the summit saw Andhra Pradesh reap a rich harvest of projects.
There were as many as 328 MoUs
In all 328 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rs.4.78 lakh crore investment proposals for projects which generate one million jobs were signed at the three-day CII Partnership. The breakup is 32 MoUs on the opening day for Rs.1.97 lakh crores and to provide 56,448 jobs and another 248 MoUs on the second day for investment of Rs.1,98,771 crore generating employment for 6,24,008. In keeping with its commitment to assist the Andhra Pradesh state in the aftermath of bifurcation, the Central Government sprang a pleasant surprise by announcing some major projects for the Sunrise state. These include the Rs.600 crore National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER) in Visakhapatnam on 100 acres, for which the foundation stone will be laid shortly, a full-fledged Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (CIPET) at Vijayawada and Medical Devices Park at a cost of Rs.20,000 crore. CIPET is already functioning in Vijayawada but with just 200 students doing diploma courses. Now, it will be transformed into a high learning centre with B.Tech and M.Tech courses and the student intake will be increased to 5,000 from the present 200.
And only Gujarat on the west coast and Sunrise AP on the east coast got the medical devices park project so far in the country. Besides these, a Petrochemical Complex will also come up in AP, jointly under the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd. (HPCL) and Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), and the investment here will be in excess of Rs.50,000 crore. The expansion of HPCL and also a brand new Petroleum, Chemical and Petroleum Investment Region (PCPIR) in Andhra Pradesh will be started in AP shortly, according to the Union Minister of Chemicals and Fertilisers Anant Kumar.
Smart Industrial Township
ESSEL Group will build a Smart Industrial Township on 10,000 acres with an investment of ten billion US dollars or Rs.73,000 crore. According to its chairman Subhash Chandra, a minimum of 200 industries will be invited to the SIT. An MoU towards this and another for making solar panels from silica with an investment of Rs.13,000 crore were signed during the Summit. The solar
unit will be set up on 2,000 acres of land and provide jobs for 15,000 people. The CEO of OCI Global Woo Hon Lee also promised that they would come to Andhra Pradesh and do what ESSEL did and find ways to contribute to the great country of India, particularly Andhra Pradesh. ESSEL Infraprojects and Golden Corncord Holdings formed a consortium for investment of USD 11 billion, which was announced at the Summit.
Naval shipyard at Rambilli
Anil Ambani promoted Reliance ADA Group and also signed an MoU at the summit for setting up a world-class Naval facility at Rambilli about 70 km south of Visakhapatnam which can build modern submarines. Also, the Pune based Bharat Forge Ltd will invest Rs.1200 crore in Andhra Pradesh to set up an integrated automotive component factory in Nellore. These projects will push the growth rate of the state as well as create millions of jobs giving a boost to the country’s economy.
Among the top industries that came forward to invest in AP are ESSEL Group, Reliance ADA, Bharat Forge, Ashok Leyland, Amar Raja, Rising Star-Foxconn, Divis, Aravind Pharma, Trina Solar, Langi Silicon, Indian Oil, Steel Exchange of India; Retain—Walmart, Future Group, Arvind brands, Spencer Retail; Infra– National Highway Infrastructure Development Corporation, Dredging Corporation of India, Container Corporation of India; IT—Dallas Technologies, Spice Mobiles; Housing—Consortium of Construction companies of China; Tourism—Ivorysands, Inter Globe Hotels, Star food; and CRDA—HUDCO, Andhra Bank.
Assets of AP
Praises were showered on Chandrababu Naidu by the Central Ministers who participated in the Summit. Anant Kumar during the closing ceremony said that Chandrababu Naidu, who proved to be Bhageeratha by inter-linking Krishna and Godavari rivers recently to achieve a dream project, has now turned into a Viswakarma as well since he was constructing Amaravati, the new capital for Andhra Pradesh. The combination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Centre and CM Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh was going to herald a golden era for India and Andhra Pradesh. Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs and Information and Broadcasting Arun Jaitley who inaugurated the Summit, observed that the stability of policy and prevailing business-friendly eco system in Andhra Pradesh will attract investors to the new State, leading to its tremendous growth. There was a consistent record of business-friendliness in Andhra Pradesh. “Andhra Pradesh as a destination has two great assets. It has very high standard of levels of entrepreneurship of Telugus not only in industry and business but I also see that among elected people’s representatives who are seen more enterprising than others. The eco system is inherently business-friendly and there is the astute leadership of the Chief Minister who aims at a 14 per cent growth to contribute to the nation’s economy. I have not the least doubt Andhra Pradesh is moving towards a situation where people not only from the country but from all over the world would come to see new cities coming up here,” he observed.
Jaitley also opined that the proposed new capital at Amaravati `probably would be one of the most outstanding global cities being planned’. India was not only a cooperative federation with regional cooperation from all States irrespective of political leadership, but also a competitive federation. The world today is facing an economic crisis and the growth rates were extremely low. A large part of it had spilled over into our system also. But India with seven to 7.5 per cent growth rate, stood out as a bright spot in the global economy. Some of the reforms had to be pursued with single-minded focus on it. After bifurcation, Andhra Pradesh state had been left in a more difficult and challenging situation since the revenue-generating Hyderabad had gone to Telangana, “The State really has to be built once again,” he said.
Metro for Visakhapatnam
Union Minister, M. Venkaiah Naidu holding the Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation portfolios, said that the Central Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would do everything possible to support Andhra Pradesh because AP Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu “Is a performer and a reformer, and not because he is our alliance partner.” He is taking the State forward. Like Shri Modi, Shri Chandrababu Naidu in AP was `an able leader providing stable government’. “That gives us assurance and insurance to make investments in Andhra Pradesh. Chandrababu Naidu is a missionary and a `visionary’. He is also a darling of investors. He believes in reforms. I can assure you, the Government of India will accelerate reforms. We are committed to extend a helping hand to Andhra Pradesh,” M.Venkaiah Naidu remarked. The AP Chief Minister also seemed to know schemes of the Centre ahead of their launching and was pleading for inclusion of the State in them. Thanks to his effort, under the housing for all by 2020 scheme, out of 2.3 lakh houses, as many as 1.93 lakh homes were sanctioned to Andhra Pradesh alone.
The Chief Minister even sought inclusion of Amaravati, the new capital of Andhra Pradesh among Smart Cities. Amaravati would also be a Heritage City. Besides, there are three Smart Cities of Visakhapatnam, Kakinada and Tirupati. Venkaiah Naidu said that Rs.7,500 crore HUDCO loan would be provided to Amaravati for developing infrastructure in and around the new capital. Similarly, Metro rail would be introduced in Visakhapatnam and later in Vijayawada. The detailed project report for Vijayawada metro project was ready and tenders would be called shortly, he revealed. Also, Rs.65,000 crore were sanctioned for national highway roads in Andhra Pradesh by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, he recalled.
Union Minister for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitaraman commented “If you have large projects happening in India, the projects will be executed by entrepreneurs from Andhra Pradesh.” She appreciated the enterprising nature of people of the State which had an ancient civilization. Though Visakhapatnam was battered by Hudhud cyclone last year, the Chief Minister had insisted that the Summit be held in the port city. The engine of growth should be Andhra Pradesh, she felt.
AP is like California
Union Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha has likened Andhra Pradesh with California for development. “In the US, it is said that the future happens first in California. I would say, in India, the future happens first in Andhra Pradesh under the able leadership of Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu”. Just like California, Andhra Pradesh will become the economic engine for India with 14 to 15 per cent GDP growth. We’d like to see AP as the economic engine for India,” he said.
He noted that Shri Chandrababu Naidu had thrown open doors to all kinds of innovation, ideals, as to how smart urbanisation would take place. Observing that Andhra Pradesh was famous for entrepreneurship with people like GMR (Grandhi Mallikarjuna Rao) who had great trading and business acumen, he felt these factors would lead Andhra Pradesh to a glorious and prosperous future under the stewardship of Shri Chandrababu Naidu.
ADB finds huge potential
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) sees tremendous potential for development in the Visakhapatnam-Chennai Industrial Corridor (VCIC) where Visakhapatnam is set to play a pivotal role. According to ADB Country Director-India Teresa Kho, the VCIC is poised to play a critical role in the East Coast economic zone extending from Kolkata in West Bengal to Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu, through the VCIC. The increase in GDP in the corridor will be richer by six times—from Rs.2000 billion in 2015 to Rs.11,600 billion in three decades. “ADB has identified four nodes–Visakhapatnam, Kakinada, Gannavaram-Kinkipadu and Yerpedu-Srikalahasti nodes, with Visakhapatnam as top contributor at 38 per cent. The employment potential for the region is 11 million additional jobs in the next 30 years,” she stated. Chemicals, petrochemicals, pharma in Vizag, IT and petroleum in Kakinada, food processing, agri and allied units in Gannavaram-Kankipadu node and handicrafts in Yerpedu-Srikalahasti could be developed. Also, roads would be taken up as the 800 km stretch of National Highway No. 16 is very congested. On the ADB support for the VCIC, Kho said that it would help transform the region. The proposed funding was USD 840 million, of which ADB loan would be USD 625 million and the Government of Andhra Pradesh’s share would be USD 215 million.
Need for rapid growth
Andhra Pradesh has to grow at 14% if India aimed at double digit rate, the Chief Minister said here on Sunday. He noted that at present the world was growing at 2.5 to three percent, while India at 7.5 to eight per cent. If India has to achieve ten per cent growth, Andhra Pradesh should grow at 14 per cent so as to contribute to it, he pointed out. Andhra Pradesh is rated No. 2 by the World Bank with respect to ease of doing business. The State is endowed with natural resources, land, mineral wealth, water and was also power-surplus. It was selling power to other States. Besides, there was good governance and simplified procedures. He appealed to entrepreneurs to invest in the State and assured them that there were guaranteed profits. All clearances would be made within 21 days at a single desk for setting up their units, he said. A blue and green capital city was coming up at Amaravati which would be very beautiful, planned by Singapore Government. He urged all industrialists to open one office in Amaravati and join in the development of the state. The State Government was shortly launching e-Pragati where all government transactions would be brought online in one year, making them transparent. The CM requested the Central Government to come out with a policy for manufacturing not only for domestic markets but also for exports.
Andhra Pradesh and Telangana Governor ESL Narasimhan, Union Minister for Civil Aviation P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilisers Anant Kumar, and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology and Earth Sciences YS Chowdary, captains of industry, bankers and others attended the Summit. President of CII and Chairman and Managing Director of TIL Ltd Sumit Mazumder said that 1500 delegates from over 41 countries participated in the summit which truly had been a crossroad for dialogue on trade, economic growth and development. Chairman of CII Andhra Pradesh State Council and MD of Srinivasa Hatcheries Ltd. Suresh Rayudu Chitturi supervised arrangements for successful conduct of the inaugural and valedictory functions as well as eight plenary sessions on topics such as ‘Partnership for a shared and sustainable world economy’, `Sunrise AP: Turning aspirations into reality-Vision 2029’, `Multilateralism vs Regionalism: Future of global trade’, ‘Smart urban housing’, ‘Make in India-drafting India’s global manufacturing strategy,’ Port-led development, work culture, sustainability and climate change in which several expert panellists held discussions.
There is this demand for Special Status for Andhra Pradesh and a hue and cry is raised over it. However, if Partnership Summits of this nature are organised in the next couple of years progressively, such status will have no meaning as investments far exceed the benefits that go with it and the Sunrise State of AP will go on to shine in all glory.