AHMEDABAD - June 3, 2009 - Gujarat International Finance Tec-City Company Limited (GIFTCL) and Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS) today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Cisco for the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT) project in presence of Shri Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat.
Under the MoU, Cisco will collaborate with GIFTCL in achieving GIFT's vision of becoming a world class financial services centre, with infrastructure and facilities benchmarked to global standards.
The State of Gujarat has emerged as the fastest growing region in the country. In addition to housing one of the largest manufacturing bases in India, Gujarat also accounts for a disproportionately large share of the investor and entrepreneurial population in the country. Recognizing the potential of the State as a centre for the financial services industry, the Government of Gujarat formulated GIFT as a mega project to realize this vision. Thus, land (initially 550 acre) between the commercial capital of the State, Ahmedabad, and the Administrative Capital of the State, Gandhinagar, has been allotted for the development of a Central Finance and Business District (CFBD).
GIFT is conceptualized as a global financial and IT services hub, a first of its kind in India, designed to be at or above par with globally benchmarked financial centers. GIFT aspires to catalyse India's large financial services potential by offering to global and local financial services firms world-class infrastructure to tap the opportunity and best-in-class quality of life to attract top talent in the country.
GIFT promises to be a Central Business Hub, not just for India but also for the rest of the world. The city is designed to provide next level infrastructure, services and platforms backed by State-of-the art Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Secured and Resilient Data Centres benchmarked to Tier IV standards, Integrated and intelligent townships with high tech City Services management.
Cisco is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet and Internet Protocol (IP) based networking solutions and is pioneer of the concept of Smart+Connected community practice (also known as Intelligent Urbanisation). Cisco will bring together a portfolio of products, services, partners, platforms, solutions and make appropriate investments. Cisco will utilize its deep industry knowledge in working together with GIFT for establishing a world class city.
The parties will jointly market, develop, implement and explore financing options of the GIFT Project. A joint task force will be constituted to work out legal, technical and financial aspects of this cooperation.
Shri Narendra Modi, Hon'ble Chief Minister of Gujarat, speaking on the occasion, said, "GIFT is an ardent reflection of our commitment to building world class institutions and infrastructure to make Gujarat an ideal business destination not only for Indian companies but also for leading international players. A grand project like GIFT is truly a gift for people of Gujarat and India as the benefits will transcend to people across the social strata. The partnership between GIFT and Cisco, a leading global IT player, is a step in the right direction".
Wim Elfrink, Chief Globalisation Officer and Executive Vice President, Cisco Services said: "Rapidly expanding infrastructure demands on growing towns and cities is putting increasing pressure on governments and communities. We believe that cities which are run on information will transform the quality of life for citizens, drive economic growth and improve city services and management. Cities like GIFT, that use the network to accelerate and multiply their infrastructure investments will be those who not only survive challenges but thrive and lead into the future. We are honored to join hands with the government of Gujarat and IL&FS to help build this city of tomorrow."
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Sudhir Mankad, Chairman – GIFTCL said, "GIFT will be developed as an intelligent city, which will transform the quality of life, and offer financial services enterprises a significant competitive advantage to operate regionally and globally. We are looking to work closely with Cisco, in developing a world-class financial services centre. We are delighted to partner with a world technology leader like Cisco in this important initiative."
Mr. Hari Sankaran, Managing Director - IL&FS, addressing the gathering said, "GIFT, inspired by the worlds' leading financial hubs, will provide the best in technology and infrastructure facilities, rivaling the biggest centers of commerce in the world. As a pioneer in the Public Private Partnership domain, IL&FS is indeed privileged to partner with the Government of Gujarat in creating a world class financial hub that asserts India's steady rise as an economic power house."