After partnering Vibrant Gujarat for two consecutive editions, United States has denied being a partner country for the upcoming edition of the summit that is scheduled to be held from January 18-20, 2019. Ten countries comprising Japan and Canada have already confirmed to be partner countries for the summit.
A senior state government official from the Industries and Mines department confirmed that the United States had dropped out as “partner country” from the summit which will be set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 18. When quizzed about the reason, the official stated that the US wanted to restrict itself to events associated directly with the Government of India.
This disapproval from the United States comes despite a high-level delegation from the Gujarat government headed by Arvind Agarwal, additional chief secretary, finance department traveling to the United States in October 2017 in connection with the summit. The delegation had held roadshows, came to cities like New York, Chicago, and Washington DC to attract investors for the event.
Even in the run-up to the Vibrant summit scheduled in 2017, citing elections in the United States, officials had expressed disinterest in partnering with the state government for the summit. However, later the Americans joined in. The US commenced partnering the Vibrant summit in 2015 after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister. The same year, US Secretary of State John Kerry had visited Gandhinagar and spoke at the inaugural event.
With the US dropping out, Japan, Canada, France, South Korea, Denmark, Netherlands, Czech Republic, Thailand, Uzbekistan, and UAE will be partner countries for the 2019 edition. “The United States is, however, participating in the country seminars conducted at the Vibrant summit,” the state government official said. Business advocacy organizations from the United States like USIBC (US-India Business Council) and US-India Strategic and Partners Forum (USISPF) will be partner organization and will be attending the upcoming ninth edition of the summit. John Chambers chairman of USISPF is scheduled to head a delegation of over 25 global business leaders and top American universities for the Vibrant summit. Senior state government officials also pointed out that a number of MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) are in line to be signed with the visiting delegation from the US.
Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce, JETRO (Japan External Trade Organisation) and Korean Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) are among the other organizations partnering the deposit this time. In the 2017 edition of the summit, 12 countries had agreed to be partner countries.