If it were a country, Gujarat would be hailed among the world's fastest growing economies.
This state in western India, on the Arabian Sea, appears as an unstoppable juggernaut, consistently posting double-digit GDP growth for nearly a decade, a rare feat among India's 28 states.
Gujarat, which is roughly twice the size of Ireland, is home to fewer than 5 per cent of India's 1.2 billion people, but its per capita income is twice that of the national figure. The state accounts for about a quarter of India's exports, a third of its stock market capitalisation and a fifth of its industrial output.
India has 30 special economic zones - tax-free enclaves that promote trade and exports - for multiple industries, and more than a third of them are in Gujarat.
The state is home to two of India's largest oil refineries and one of its largest automated coal terminals. Its long list of foreign investors includes Japan's Mitsubishi, Germany's Duravit and Canada's Bombardier.
Gujarat is an emerging economic and export powerhouse and stands out as a curious anomaly in a country where corruption, heavy-handed bureaucratic controls and a weak policy and regulatory environment are impeding economic growth.
Business leaders praise the state's chief minister, Narendra Modi, for successfully tackling these ills.
Gujarat is the only statein which the government has framed policies and rationalised procedures for land allocation and environmental clearances in almost all key sectors, including power, ports, roads, information technology, agriculture and minerals.
Mr Modi's "only red carpet and no red tape" approach is helping Gujarat successfully woo domestic and foreign investors.
"To me, good governance means minimum government and maximum governance," Mr Modi said.
That buoyant sentiment was echoed by an effusive assembly of industrialists - including members of the Ambani, Birla and Tata families - who came to Gujarat this month for the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors' Summit. They lauded the state's "business-friendly" chief minister and pledged investments worth US$450 billion (Dh1.65 trillion) - the equivalent of a third of India's GDP.
The Adani Group pledged 800bn rupees (Dh64.42bn) of investments in ports and power; Anil Dhirubhai Ambai committed 500bn; and Essar Group pledged 300bn.
This highlights a steep jump in investments from the previous summit in the state, held in 2009, which attracted investment pledges totalling $243bn.
"The world looks at India and India looks at Gujarat," said Chanda Kochhar, the chairman of ICICI, the country's largest private bank.
Mr Modi, who is Gujarat's longest serving chief minister and was first elected as chief minister in 2001, stands out among India's political class.
But his economic success has come amid controversy. In February 2002, 58 Hindu pilgrims died in a mysterious fire on a train passing through Gujarat.
The incident sparked a deadly backlash by Hindu mobs against Muslims who were suspected of causing the fire. More than 1,000 people were killed in the ensuing wave of sectarian violence.
Mr Modi was accused of being complicit in fomenting the riots and thereafter doing nothing to stop the Hindu mobs - accusations he vehemently denied.
No matter how hard Mr Modi tries to shun the legacy of the 2002 violence by focusing on economic progress, it continues to be an albatross. He is currently under investigation by the supreme court.
While he is loathed and loved in equal measure, not even his fiercest critics question his personal integrity. Mr Modi is viewed to have zero tolerance for corruption and nepotism.
Ashok Bhatia, the president of Zydus Cadila, a leading pharmaceutical company in Gujarat, said Mr Modi had ushered in an era of good governance in the state. "He has the right attitude to develop business in Gujarat," he said. "He runs the state not like a politician, but like a CEO."
Gujarat's civil administration is viewed as an efficient and disciplined force that rules on land purchases and environmental permits quickly. Through a web portal, investors can track the paperwork and make complaints in case of any delay.
In October 2008, the car giant Tata Motors was compelled to shut down its plant for the low-cost Nano car in communist-ruled West Bengal after a violent backlash in the state from local farmers bitterly opposed to the project on their land. Within days, the company was invited to Gujarat by Mr Modi personally.
Land allotment for the new plant was wrapped up in just three days.The decision won the state a 300bn rupee project and direct employment for 50,000 people. Such approvals in India normally take several months of agonising lobbying and paperwork.
In 2007, the Canadian transport company Bombardier also set up a 160,000 square meter factory in the state with relative ease. The land for the factory site at Vadodara was granted in a week. Bombardier is currently finalising a $650 million order for 424 coaches for New Delhi's metro network.
"It was a record-breaking experience in Bombardier's 100-year history," said Rajeev Jyoti, the company's managing director in India.
But some critics say the figures of investment advertised at the biennial summits are inflated and not likely to materialise beyond paper investments. The state government says that 40 per cent of the deals signed in 2009 are being implemented, while 60 per cent of those signed in 2007 have taken off. However, Mr Modi has pointed out that even with fewer-than-promised projects getting off the ground, Gujarat is still far ahead of most other Indian states on the investment front.
Gujarat also has an edge over other states because of its superior infrastructure. The state has the best roads in India, uninterrupted electricity and an extensive rail network. There are 42 ports, 13 domestic airports and one international airport, the highest number of any state. Gujarat also boasts a 2,200km gas-grid that supplies the fuel to industrial areas. Last year, the state government committed $43.2bn to upgrading infrastructure in the state.
"Gujarat has an advantage over other states because of stable power supply, availability of natural gas and proximity to ports for importing raw materials as well as exporting finished goods," says Anant Goenka, the deputy managing director at the tyre maker Ceat, which has a plant producing radial tyres in the state.