Maharashtra Chief Minister Fadnavis Pitches For Investment During Visit to New York

NEW YORK — Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis last week made a high pitch for investment in his state, telling U.S. businesses that he wants to provide a boost to not just “make in India’ campaign launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year, but supplement that with ‘Make in Maharashtra’ as well. And he explained why investors should be in interested in Maharashtra.

Addressing prospective investors at a round table organized by the U.S.-India Business Council in New York June 29Fadnavis said the state government has taken measures to promote ease of doing business in Maharashtra because the government wants the state should be viewed as a top destination for doing business by domestic and international investors.

The chief minister, who was on a five-day visit to the United States was accompanied by senior government officials from the state. The USIBC meeting in Manhattan was the first of his official engagement in New York.

He said that the government wants to provide business to both medium and small enterprises and create much-needed jobs in his state. Fadnavis pitch for foreign investment was endorsed by USIBC. Its president Mukesh Aghi said at the meeting that Council’s member companies have been encouraged by the ease of doing business in Maharashtra.

“Now is the right time to invest in Maharashtra. It is a land of immense opportunity. I assure you that once you decide to come…we will do everything for you. Our government has decided that there is going to be no more red tape but only red carpet,” he told investors and the business community.

He said that the government is looking for joint ventures in critical projects such as the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial corridor, smart cities, adding that the government was inviting investments in manufacturing, agriculture, aviation, engineering and information technology.

The Chief Minister was also hosted by the Friends of Maharastra and the Indian Consulate in New York at the at the Pierre Hotel in New York. The sit-down dinner was attended by an estimated 300 people, inclduing leadeers of the Indian American community from the Tri-State area. The minister and his family were welcomed with koli dances and vada pav was on the menu.

At the Pierre Hotel, the minister reiterated what he said ealier during the day at the USIBC, urging people to come and make investment in Maharashtra which he said has the best infrastructure for doing business. At the reception he was accompanied by Minister of Industry Subash Desai who also spoke about the availability of skilled labor and a business friendly climate in Maharashtra.

The chief minister’s visit came less than two weeks after Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley visited U.S. and w as also hosted by the USIBC in New York. The visit primarily aimed at attracting foreign direct investment in India’s infrastructure and other sectors.

Said Aghi: “I have no hesitation in saying that the state has the potential to emerge as a high ranking state on the ease of doing business index.” Earlier, the chief minister was received at the Newark International Airport by New Jersey Governor. During the day-long visit, Fadnavis met with the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as well as other senior political leaders from New York City and Connecticut.

In a press release, India’s Consul General Dnyaneshwar Mulay told reporters that, given the large population of Indians in the New York-New Jersey area, Fadnavis will hold meetings with the states’ leadership and promote it as an attractive investment destination, not only among the diaspora but to a larger American audience.

Mulay said given Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on the ‘Make in India’ campaign and the country’s ambitions to grow at a fast economic rate, states must also take the lead and contribute actively to the economic development of the country. “Unless that happens, rapid growth will not take place and benefits of the economic growth will not reach small towns and rural areas,” he said.

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