Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a strong pitch on Wednesday for American business to invest in India, emphasising that there was never a better time to do so especially in a “nation you can trust”. India and the US, he added, must combine to help the world bounce back faster from the coronavirus pandemic.
“American investors often look out for the perfect timing to enter a sector or a country. To them, I would like to say — there has never been a better time to invest in India,” the PM said addressing the USIBC India Ideas Summit.
“The rise of India means a rise in trade opportunities with a nation you can trust, a rise in global integration with increasing openness,” said Modi in an important political message at a time when countries and companies are looking to diversify supply chains from China.
India could power the global economic recovery, the PM said while listing out sectors such as aviation, insurance, defence, space, energy and infrastructure as opportunities for US investors. “I have given you a few options, that too without any consultancy fees,” he remarked in jest as he elaborated on why India makes for a profitable investment destination.
Importance of Resilience
“Today, there is global optimism towards India. This is because India offers a perfect combination of openness, opportunities and options. India celebrates openness in people and in governance. Open minds make open markets. Open markets lead to greater prosperity. These are principles on which both India and the US agree,” Modi said.
Modi said even during the Covid-19 pandemic, India has attracted foreign investment of more than $20 billion between April and July 2020. “Investment is the best show of confidence. Every year, we are reaching record highs in FDI. Friends in USIBC inform that ‘pledged investment’ from the US has already crossed $40 billion this year,” the PM said.
The pandemic, Modi said, had shown that the global economy needed to focus against external shocks. “It has taken a global pandemic to remind us how important resilience is. Global economic resilience can be achieved by stronger domestic economic capacities. This means improved domestic capacity for manufacturing, restoring the health of the financial system and diversification of international trade.”
The PM said his call for an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ was an effort to contribute towards a resilient world. “And, for that, we await your partnership,” the PM said in his pitch to American companies.
Modi termed India as a land of opportunities and said the Indian insurance sector was one of the best investment options presently to generate long-term and assured revenues. “India has raised FDI cap for investment in insurance to 49%. 100% FDI is permitted for investment in insurance intermediaries. The insurance market in India is growing at a rate of more than 12% and is expected to grow to $250 billion by 2025.”
The PM also cited the tech sector as being ideal for US investments as he said India’s rural internet users were now more than urban users. “Opportunities in technology also include opportunities in the frontier technologies of 5G, big data analytics, quantum computing, blockchain and Internet of things,” Modi said. The PM also invited American companies to invest in India’s agriculture sector and said India’s food processing sector is expected to be worth over half a trillion dollars by 2025. “To grow more streams of revenue, the best time to tap investment opportunities in the Indian agriculture sector is now,” the PM said.
He also cited how India’s healthcare sector is growing faster than 22% every year. “India and the US have already built a robust partnership in the pharma sector. To achieve scale and speed, now is the best time to expand your investment in Indian healthcare sector,” the PM said. He also cited the energy sector, saying that as India evolves into a gas-based economy, “there will be big investment opportunities for US companies and also in the clean energy sector”. Modi added that India is also seeing the largest infrastructure creation drive ever and American companies can be a partner in building housing for millions, building roads, highways and ports.
“Civil aviation is another area of great potential growth. The number of air passengers is expected to more than double within next 8 years. The top private Indian airlines plan to include over a thousand new aircraft over the coming decade,” he added.
Modi also drew attention to India’s decision to raise FDI cap for investment in defence sector to 74% and establishing two defence corridors. “We offer special incentives for private and foreign investors. A few weeks ago, we cleared path-breaking reforms in the space sector,” the PM said.
News Source: Economic Times