Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in Surat on Sunday that India will be among the world’s top three economies in his third term.
He inaugurated the sprawling Surat Diamond Porch, which he said was „a symbol of the strength and determination of the new India”.
Addressing the event, Modi said eight lakh people are employed in the Surat diamond industry and another 1.5 lakh jobs will be added due to the new business, the world’s largest and most modern hub for international diamond and jewelery trade.
The Surat Diamond Bores (SDB) building, the world’s largest office complex with an area of 67 lakh square feet, is located in Kajot village near Surat city.
„One more diamond has been added to the glory of Surat. The diamond is not small, it is the best in the world. Even the biggest buildings of the world pale before the shine of this diamond. Whenever one talks about this diamond business in the world, Surat and India are mentioned,” the Prime Minister said.
Surat Diamond Purses showcase the prowess of Indian design, designers, material and concept. „This building is a symbol of the new strength and determination of the new India,” he said.
„You all know that India has risen from being ranked 10th in the last 10 years to become the fifth largest economy in the world. Now, in his third innings, Modi has given his assurance that it will be one of the top three economies in the world,” he said.
„The government has set targets for the next 25 years. We are working towards becoming a $5-10 trillion economy, while also taking exports to record levels,” he said.
Asserting that Surat and its diamond industry have grown manifold, he said the city should set a target to increase its contribution to the country’s exports, „which is a challenge and an opportunity for the diamonds and gems and jewelery sector”.
India is the leading exporter of diamonds, including silver-cut and lab-grown diamonds, but the country’s contribution to global gems and jewelery exports is just 3.5 per cent, he said.
„If Surat decides, very soon we can reach double digit in gems and jewelery exports. I guarantee that the government will stand with you in all your endeavours,” he said.
By selecting the sector as a hub for export promotion, the Center is already making efforts to promote patented designs, diversification of export products, seeking better technology with other countries and promoting lab-grown and green diamonds.
He said that the world is leaning towards India and the reputation of the country has risen and is being talked about all over today.
„Made in India has become a strong brand. Your business and jewelery sector will benefit from it. So I request you to take the pledge and fulfill it,” he added.
The prime minister said Surat’s modern infrastructure is being developed to increase the capacity of businesses with international airport, metro rail service, Hazira port, LNG terminal and multi-cargo port.
Surat is part of the bullet train network and work is underway on the Western Exclusive Freight Corridor, which will strengthen the region’s connectivity with North and East India, he said.
The Delhi-Mumbai Expressway will provide new opportunities for Surat’s businesses, he said, adding that it is „the only city with such modern connectivity”. City businesses should take advantage of these features, he said.
The Prime Minister said that „Modi’s guarantee” is being talked about a lot these days and because of the recent assembly elections.
„But people of Surat have known Modi’s assurances for a long time. Hardworking people of Surat have seen Modi’s assurances becoming reality. This Surat Diamond Porch is an example of that,” he said.
According to an official statement, the SDB will be a global hub for trading in both rough and polished diamonds and jewellery.
It will include a state-of-the-art 'Customs Clearance House’ for imports and exports, a jewelery mall for retail jewelery business and facility of international banking and safe deposit boxes.
SDB is part of the Diamond Research and Trade (DREAM) City. With an area of 67 lakh square feet, SDB is now the largest office building in the world, housing nearly 4,500 diamond trading offices, according to a report.
Built on an area of 35.54 acres inside Dream City, the mega structure has nine towers with 15 floors and office space ranging from 300 to 1 lakh square feet.
Prime Minister Modi said that the new terminal building of Surat Airport was inaugurated on Sunday and fulfilling the long-standing demand of the people of the city, Surat Airport has got the status of an international airport.
Along with the Surat airport, Gujarat now has three international airports, which Modi said will benefit the textile, tourism, education and other sectors, apart from the diamond trade.
Modi said that he has a close connection with the city of Surat and that it has taught him a lot, including how to tackle the biggest challenges through joint efforts.
Surat has seen many ups and downs in the past, including plague and floods, he said.
„Suratis have faced all challenges together. I have closely witnessed those periods when the spirit of Surat was challenged and various kinds of negativity spread. But I was sure that Surat would not only come out of the crisis but also make a place for itself in the world with new strength,” he said.
Today, Surat is among the top 10 fastest growing cities in the world, he said.
People have turned Surat into a diamond city with all their might and it has become a bridge city.
„Today Surat is a dream city for lakhs of youth. A city growing in information technology, it is a historic event to get a grand building in the shape of a diamond merchant,” Modi said.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.