Tribune News Service
New Delhi, November 5
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday promised foreign investors “returns with reliability” if they participated with India in its drive to become the world’s leading manufacturing hub.
The PM was addressing the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable-20 (VGIR-20) attended by the world’s 20 largest pension and sovereign wealth funds representing key regions including the US, Europe, Canada, Korea, Japan, the Middle East, Australia and Singapore.
This is the PM’s third major virtual address to a gathering of overseas investors. It will be followed by one-to-one meetings over the next fortnight with leading CEOs from here and the world.
“India has the potential to catalyse global economic resurgence. Any achievement by India will have a multiplier effect on the world’s development. A strong and vibrant India can stabilise world economic order,” he said. The PM had earlier addressed business from the US and Canada at similar virtual interactions.
The PM underlined the various economic initiatives underway as also stressed on India’s democratic credentials and its free and open society as if to underline India’s difference with China.
Another selling point was that India offered multiple markets within one market which come with multiple levels of development preferences.
Addressing “some of the best financial brains who can convert new areas of innovation and growth into sustainable business propositions”, the PM said he was conscious of their requirement of best and safe long-term returns.
Dwelling on the multiple initiatives to improve India’s manufacturing potential, he mentioned the GST, one of the lowest corporate tax rates, a new labour law regime, plans to invest over Rs. 1 trillion under an massive infrastructure building plan and millions for houses for the neo middle class.
The PM also spoke on his government’s “holistic” strategy for financial sector reforms in banking, strengthening of markets, a suitable policy regime for investment vehicles, implementation of the insolvency act and digital payment systems.
“We have one of the largest number of startups and unicorns in the world. The growth rate in 2019 translates into an average of two to three startups coming up every day,” said the PM to emphasise India’s accent on innovation.
There are many openings available due to strategic disinvestment and monetisation on an unprecedented scale spurred by the decision to reduce Government holding in PSUs to below 51 per cent, open up reserved sectors such as coals, civil aviation, defence, space, atomic energy and railways.
Each sector is looking up, including manufacturing, infrastructure, technology, agriculture, finance and even social sectors like health and education. The recent agriculture sector reforms have opened up new possibilities of partnering with farmers. This has led to the global investor community showing confidence in India’s future which is reflected in a 30 per cent rise in FDI inflows in the past five months, said the PM.