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Friday, Nov 24, 2006

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Industry & Economy - Foreign Trade
States - Gujarat
Gujarat speaks Chinese to woo investors

Shailesh Menon

Mumbai , Nov. 23

Mr Wang Dinglin, Chairman, Sino-Australia Investment Company, who tried all his `techie' instincts and failed to switch on the electronic translator, decided instead to pose for a few photographs.

Mr Wang, like many in the visiting Chinese delegation, did not know English. He sat clueless (like several of his friends) throughout the presentations (delivered in English) detailing investment opportunities in Maharashtra and West Bengal.

Presentations on investment opportunities in India sounded rather Greek to him. But Mr Wang sat quietly in his chair, trying to make out what the speakers were saying.

But when Mr Arvind Agarwal, Commissioner - Industries, Gujarat, began his presentation with a short film in Chinese, highlighting the positives of the State as an industrial and business hub, Mr Wang and many others of his delegation sat upright in their chairs and were all ears.

The presentation detailed every aspect of opportunity in Gujarat with eye-catching multi-lingual sub-titles. The short film also had Mr Scott R. Bayman of GE India, Mr Akira Kamitani of Hitachi Home and Life Solutions and Mr Dale F. Morrison, CEO, McCain Foods, touting Gujarat as a good investment destination.

The film ended welcoming all the visiting delegates for the upcoming Global Investors' Summit, organised by the Gujarat Government in January 2007.

Talking to Business Line after the presentation, Mr Agarwal said, "Yes, we are keen on more foreign investments in Gujarat. Language should never be a barrier to potential investors, hence, this presentation in Chinese."

Gujarat even distributed brochures and booklets in Chinese to the delegation.

The Gujarat Government has a separate Industrial Extension Bureau (INDEXTB) to promote the State as an investment destination.

"We use several such marketing techniques to promote our brand "Vibrant Gujarat'. We have also prepared a `Perception Booklet' that speaks about the experiences of entrepreneurs who have set up shop in Gujarat. INDEXTB also has several `entrepreneur brand ambassadors' to speak about the State's investment opportunities,'' said Mr Kalpesh Sheth, Deputy Manager - Marketing, INDEXTB.

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