Narendra Modi pitches India as best place for global investors

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum on September 3, 2020. Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the U.S.-India Strategic Partnership Forum on September 3, 2020. Photo: Twitter/@narendramodi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday made a pitch for India as an investment destination and reliable player in global supply chains.

Delivering the keynote address at the U.S. India Strategic Partnership Forum via video link, Mr. Modi said nobody could have imagined when 2020 began that the year would turn out this way, with a global pandemic impacting everyone. Looking forward, he called for “ramping up our capacities, securing the poor, and future proofing our citizens”.

Without naming China, Narendra Modi said the pandemic has showed that trust was important for global supply chain decisions.

“This pandemic has also shown the world that the decision on developing global supply chains should be based not only on costs. They should also be based on trust,” the Prime Minister said. “Along with affordability of geography, companies are now also looking for reliability and policy stability. India is the location which has all of these qualities.”

The U.S. industry has often described less than sufficient policy-stability in India as one of the challenges to investment in the country.

Mr. Modi emphasised that his Aatmanirbhar Bharat or Self-Reliant India project was not India turning its back on the world.

“Despite our large local needs, we did not shy away from our global responsibility. The responsibility of being the world’s leading producer of generic medicines; we ensured constant supply to the world. We are also at the forefront of research on the vaccine for COVID-19 ,” he said.

“A self-reliant and peaceful India ensures a better world,” Mr. Modi said, adding that that the idea was to transform India from a passive market to an “active manufacturing hub at the heart of global value chains.”

He highlighted what he called a transparent, predictable tax regime; the Goods and Services Tax as a unified IT-enabled tax system, the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code reducing risk for the financial regime; labour reforms that were reducing compliance costs for employers and providing social security for workers.

“Friends, the road further ahead is full of opportunities,” Mr. Modi said. “These opportunities are in the public and private sector. They cover core economic sectors as well as the social sectors.”

In addition to highlighting the government’s activities from housing to fintech, Mr. Modi described the government’s opening up of the coal, mining, railway, defence, space and atomic energy sectors. Mr Modi also mentioned agricultural manufacturing reforms, and a $14 billion agricultural financing facility (which was launched in August), and said that for the government, the ease of living was as important as the ease of doing business.

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Printable version | Sep 15, 2022 7:35:50 pm |