From Hype to Reality
In recent times my inbox is flooded with invitations to numerous trade and investors summits. Being a witness to the trends in maritime trade, I try to get a sense of how the investments are going to impact the growth in the manufacturing space. While in the past the trade meets were mostly organized by the trade bodies, but now it has become a regular platform for states to showcase opportunities and market themselves to the world to attract investment. Years back Vibrant Gujarat set the trend of shifting the goal posts for the trade meets and make them rather platforms for investors to have a firsthand experience of the state’s resources and conduciveness for the growth of their business. Over a period of time this business model has been picked up by most of the states in the country. While there are some states with emerging economy like West Bengal (Bengal Global Business Summit), Odisha (Invest in Odisha), Uttar Pradesh (UP Investors Summit 2018), Andhra Pradesh (The Partnership Summit) which are scouting for investments to keep up the momentum of economic and trade growth, other states like Jharkhand (Momentum Jharkhand Investors Summit) and Assam (Advantage Assam) with relatively smaller economic growth also joined this bandwagon with lookout for fresh investments. But what surprises me is the fact that states like Maharashtra (Magnetic Maharashtra summit), Karnataka and Tamil Nadu with fairly established manufacturing sectors still remain in the race.
The positive trend about these summits is that it has made the policy makers much more responsive to the changing dynamics of trade and industry. The amount of investments committed and Mous signed at these summits are astonishing. This hype of Mous is now infectious.
Take the example of Advantage Assam, which announced signing of 200 MOUS and investment proposal to the tune of `1,00,000 crore was committed. Similarly, Magnetic Maharashtra Summit witnessed 4,106 Mous worth `12.10 trillion. The list is endless. But the million-dollar question is how much of it is getting translated into reality? How many of these enthusiastically announced projects are grounded!?
The reality dawned on one of India’s most showcased state events Vibrant Gujarat Summit where the word ‘investor’ was silently dropped. Reports indicate that many of the tall investment claims made at these summits remain rhetoric and void of action. In some cases it is to the extent of recycling the Mous year-after-year.
If the manufacturing growth and job creation has to be a reality, states should take a more pragmatic approach towards converting the investments into reality by creating a better ecosystem resolving the challenges of regulatory framework, land allotment and skilled manpower.
Otherwise soon the euphoria will die down and the growth momentum is unlikely to sustain.
The million-dollar question is how much of it (Mous signed) is getting translated into reality? How many of these enthusiastically announced projects are grounded!?