Gujarat aims to become $500bn economy by 2026-27: Bhupendra Patel

Indian prime minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit on Wednesday (10)

Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel. REUTERS/Amit Dave

Pramod Thomas

GUJARAT chief minister Bhupendra Patel has said his government has set a target to contribute 10 per cent to India’s GDP and become a $500 billion economy by 2026-27.

Gujarat contributes 8.3 per cent to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Patel said in an interview ahead of the tenth Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit on Wednesday.

“With 5 per cent of the population, Gujarat contributes over 8.3 per cent to the national GDP. In the previous year, the state accounted for a remarkable 33 per cent of India’s total merchandise exports,” he said.

The summit will showcase Gujarat’s futuristic projects and investments (DREAM City, GIFT City, Dholera SIR, Ahmedabad-Mumbai High-Speed Rail), encompassing new and emerging sectors such as semiconductors, renewable energy, electric vehicles, green hydrogen, aerospace and defence, plug-and-play parks, artificial intelligence, smart greenfield cities to name a few, he said.

Apart from leading in sectors such as textiles, chemicals and petrochemicals, gems, jewellery and ceramics, Gujarat has also emerged as the hub of the automobile sector, establishing itself as an economic powerhouse of the country, Patel said.

He said that the Gujarat International Finance Tec (GIFT) City located in Gandhinagar, is poised to become one of the world’s premier international financial centres in the coming years.

The GIFT City is undergoing massive infrastructure expansion after which the total land area will reach around 3,400 acres, he said. The riverfront along the GIFT City is being developed with an international-level retail, recreation and entertainment zone. Metro connectivity to the GIFT City will also be operational by mid-2024, he said.

Patel said that several companies from countries like the UAE, Japan, Australia, Singapore and the US have expressed their interest in exploring investment opportunities in the GIFT-IFSC.

Patel also said that the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR), with an area of 920 sqkm, is poised to be the biggest industrial hub of the future.

“Our strategic focus is concentrated on sectors that not only define the current economic landscape but also play a pivotal role in shaping the global future. The growth of the state has substantially facilitated in solidifying the concept that says, ‘Gujarat means growth’,” he said.

“Strategic development in new and emerging sectors such as semiconductors, green hydrogen, electric vehicles, renewable energy, and the financial services industry stand as prime examples of the state’s progress toward achieving this ambitious goal.”

Gujarat will play a pivotal role in realising Modi’s vision of ‘Viksit Bharat @2047’, Patel said.

The previous nine editions of the summit have positioned Gujarat as one of the most preferred investment destinations, contributing significantly to India’s growth story, he added.

“In this journey of last 20 years, Gujarat has witnessed a 16-fold increase in the GSDP from $17.7bn in 2002-03 to $282bn in 2022-23,” he said.

He said the ease of doing business, investor-friendly approach and robust industrial infrastructure have made the state a preferred investment hub of Indian and global conglomerates.

He further said, “We took the concept of Vibrant Gujarat to the grassroots by holding events such as Vibrant Gujarat-Vibrant District in 32 districts across the state to create a sense of participation among all.”

The summit aims to reach every corner of the state, aligning with national priorities and the themes of G20, the chief minister said.