Gujarat government has decided to independently set up international desks in foreign countries like the US, China and Japan for facilitating investment in the state by overseas investors.

This is likely to be a first endeavour by any state to start such permanent facilities overseas to directly attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), an official said.

“We have decided to set up international desks in important foreign countries,” state Finance Minister Saurabh Patel told PTI.

“Gujarat government will independently set up international desks on its own,” Patel said, in reply to a question weather these international desks will be set up through Indian embassies in those countries.

“The basic aim is to the facilitate FDI by foreign investors. The desks set up oversees will serve to provide effective exchange of information to foreign investors who are willing to do business here,” Patel said.

The state government plans to start such desks in the US, Singapore, Japan, Canada and China initially.

An indication about it was given in the state Budget presented recently by Patel.

It may be recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi, when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, had proposed to former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to allow Gujarat and other states to establish international desks in the Indian embassies overseas to facilitate commerce.

During one of his pre-election speeches, Modi had also said that his proposal to allow states to establish desks facilitating investments had not received any response from the then Congress-led UPA government.

Earlier, Gujarat government officials used to travel to various foreign countries ahead of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summits, but with the setting up of international desks in those countries, the process of attracting FDI in the state will now continue throughout the year, an official said.

Incidentally, although the state has been a front-runner in garnering domestic investment in the last few years, it stands at a distant 6th place compared to other states in attracting FDI, as per Department of Industry Policy and Promotion.