Maharashtra state in Davos to build up investment momentum

Chief Minister Eknath Shinde offers pro-business and industry message from India during World Economic Forum annual meeting

Mumbai is the capital of the state of Maharashtra. Photo: AP
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Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, was in Davos this week with a message to business and industry that the Indian state has incentives and programmes to support the success of investment plans as well as improved infrastructure.

Mr Shinde said there were high expectations for his new government, and the state was focusing on drawing interest to sectors such as education, agriculture, health and clean energy.

“We have huge potential. We have good infrastructure, skilled manpower, land … and we will give capital subsidies … power tariff subsidies and will give interest rate subsidies,” he said during an interview at the Maharashtra pavilion on the main promenade in the Swiss resort town.

Eknath Shinde, Chief Minister of Maharashtra, centre, at the Indian state's pavilion in Davos, Switzerland, during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

The state is part of a very visible Indian presence at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting this year, following on from a similar effort last May.

India’s leadership of the G20 will also bring a number of global level meetings and events this year to the state, which will boost its profile beyond what most know about its capital, Mumbai.

Maharashtra is the equivalent of the world’s 12th largest country by population and the 36th largest economy. It is the biggest contributor to the gross domestic product of a country which is the world’s fifth largest economy.

A political crisis in the state ended last summer, after Mr Shinde was sworn in as Chief Minister. He is allied with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party.

Mr Shinde was set to return home almost immediately for a critical and scheduled visit to the state by Mr Modi.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speaks after laying the foundation for the memorial of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, in Mumbai. Reuters

The minister and his new administration want to seize on the momentum they have built up to secure greater investment and economic opportunity.

While in Davos, he signed a number of preliminary agreements with companies and countries, worth a total of $17 billion.

“The people’s expectations of our government are very high,” said Mr Shinde, following more than two years “when the momentum was lost”.

“We have huge potential, we have good infrastructure, skilled manpower, land … and we will give capital subsidies … power tariff subsidies and will give interest rate subsidies
Eknath Shinde, Maharashtra chief minister

India’s economy grew by 8.7 per cent in the last fiscal year and is forecast to become the world’s second largest by 2075.

“Our vision for Maharashtra [includes] conservation, connectivity and clean cities [and] the slums redevelopment project in Mumbai,” he said.

It is also one of the leading states for installed renewable energy capacity.

However, increasing incidences of extreme weather events are a risk to Maharashtra’s outlook.

“We have two extremes of climate change. One drought and one floods [which we face] at the same time,” said Mr Shinde.

They are a significant economic cost.

Much of the efforts to deal with these disasters are centred on providing relief to those affected, he said.

Updated: January 18, 2023, 7:17 AM