Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on an official state visit in Russia, underscored the importance of mutual trust between the two nations as he expressed gratitude towards Russian President Vladimir Putin. Addressing the crowd at the Plenary Session of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum 2017, PM Modi said he is happy to mark 70 years of strong ties between India and Russia. “At a time when we mark 70 years of strong ties with Russia, I am happy to be here among you,” he said. “India- Russia ties are not utilitarian. There is an underlying trust in our ties and our ties have grown stronger and deeper over time,” he further added.
PM Modi sought to draw Russia’s focus to India as he invited the people of Russia to explore opportunities in India. “I see immense opportunities in manufacturing healthcare equipment, defence sector, services sector. 125 crore people of India are inviting you- explore the opportunities in India,” the Prime Minister said.
Talking about his government’s policies in last three years, PM Modi said he is guided by the principle of ‘Minimum Government, Maximum Governance. “We have removed over 1200 laws that are obsolete in today’s context. This is a manifestation of our belief in ‘minimum government’,” he added. Expressing the need to bridge the digital divide, PM Modi said, “We are living in the era of technology. In that context, a digital divide can adversely affect the development trajectory of any nation.”
The Prime Minister described India as a fast growing economy and said it is among the top FDI destinations in the world. “In India, we are nurturing an eco-system where the youth of India becomes a job creator, not job seeker,” he further said. Pitching for Swachh Bharat, Modi went on to say that rapid urbanisation in the country has increased the need for waste management mechanisms in the country. “India is urbanising rapidly and this makes the need of infrastructure and waste management mechanisms even more important,” he said.