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Is Sri Lanka likely to join Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit as partner country?

Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel addresses the curtain raiser of the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in New Delhi (Photo: ANI)

Sri Lanka is likely to be one of the partner countries to the 10th Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit (VGGS) to be held in January 2022.

Sri Lankan newspaper Daily FT reports that State-owned Sri Lanka Tourism and top private sector companies have been invited to attend the summit to be held at Gandhinagar, Gujarat. However, a formal announcement is still to be made.

By attending the summit as a partner country, Colombo, which is in dire economic straits, hopes to gain from the international business networking event.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the three-day VGGS at Gandhinagar on January 10, 2022. The theme for this year's event is 'From Aatmanirbhar Gujarat to Aatmanirbhar Bharat'.

The 2022 event has already garnered investments worth Rs 14,165 crore through a number of MoUs between industrial groups and the Gujarat government. A press release from the state government said: "The investment proposals signed between various industry representatives and the state government were for manufacturing of electric two wheeler, chemicals, pharma API, organic paper, metal, jewellery and dyes".

The international event is likely to see participation of over 40,000 participants including global business leaders, investors, fund managers and policymakers from 135 countries.

Sri Lanka hopes to push up its socio-economic development by participating in the event. The last couple of years have been economically debilitating for the island nation, beginning with the Easter bombings which pushed down the numbers of tourists. The economic crisis ballooned once the Covid-19 pandemic spread across the globe shutting out travelers completely. Reduced foreign remittances and Covid-19-induced lockdowns pushed the country down further.