Prime Minister Narendra Modi highlighted ‘trust’ as an important factor in India’s desirable emergence as a global investment destination in a post coronavirus world that has shaken up the global economy triggering a realignment of investment priorities.
The prime minister also listed a range of policy decisions and reforms undertaken to present India as an alternative business hub for the global community.
“The rise of India means: a rise in trade opportunities with a nation that you can trust, a rise in global integration with increasing openness, a rise in your competitiveness with access to a market which offers scale,” PM Modi said at the virtual India Ideas Summit attended by an influential group of people from India and the United States.
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The Prime Minister did not name China but his government has been actively trying to present India as an alternative destination for global businesses citing several advantages offered by the country including economies of scale.
“When the markets are open, when the opportunity is high and the options are many, can optimism be far behind! You can see the optimism when India rises in key business ratings. Particularly the Ease of Doing Business ratings of the World Bank,” PM Modi said.
He underlined that FDI inflows in India in 2019-20 were 74 billion dollars. “This is an increase of 20 percent from the year before that,” the PM said to bring home his point.
Addressing the US audience he said the US-India friendship and partnership can play an important role in helping the world bounce back faster after the pandemic. He invited investments in the field of agriculture, defence and space, fianance, insurance, aviation, infrastructure,energy and health care.
“India has done historic reforms in the agriculture sector recently. There are investment opportunities in agricultural inputs and machinery, agriculture supply chain management, ready-to-eat items, fisheries and organic produce,” the PM said.
He noted that that his government had raised the FDI cap for investment in insurance to 49 percent and 100 percent for investment in insurance intermediaries. He also said that India was raising the FDI cap in defence sector to 74 percent.
“India invites you to invest in defense and space. We are raising the FDI cap for investment in defense sector to 74 percent. India has established two defense corridors to encourage production of defense equipment and platforms.”
PM’s pitch comes during India Ideas summit, attended by senior officials from the government of India and the United States, who are setting the post-pandemic recovery agenda.
Inviting investments in the civil aviation sector, PM Modi said the number of air passengers in the country was expected to more than double within the next 8 years and the top private Indian airlines were planning to induct over a thousand new aircraft over the coming decade.
The Summit has seen discussions in areas including India-US cooperation and future of the relation between the two counties in a post-pandemic world.