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Tuesday, November 24, 2020

PM Modi hardsells India advantage as he invites global investors

Modi said the country’s quest for self-reliance or Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not a vision but a well-planned economic strategy.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Updated: November 6, 2020 5:25:44 am
PM Modi to launch Ropax Ferry Service between Bhavnagar and Surat on Nov 8Prime Minister Narendra Modi (Source: Twitter/@BJP4India)

Urging global investors to invest in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said the government will do “whatever it takes to make India the engine of global growth resurgence”.

Speaking at a Virtual Global Investor Roundtable with leaders of top pension and sovereign wealth funds and domestic business leaders, Modi said:

“If you want returns with reliability, India is the place to be. If you want demand with democracy, India is the place to be. If you want stability with sustainability, India is the place to be. If you want growth with a green approach, India is the place to be. India’s growth has the potential to catalyse global economic resurgence.”

He added, “Any achievement by India will have a multiplier impact on the world’s development and welfare. A strong and vibrant India can contribute to stabilisation of the world economic order. We will do whatever it takes to make India the engine of global growth resurgence. There is an exciting period of progress ahead.”

Stating that he is conscious of investors’ requirement for safe, long-term returns, Modi said the government is finalising a master plan for connectivity infrastructure with an investment target of $1.5 trillion under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. The government has already undertaken several policies like GST, lowering the corporate tax, incentive scheme for new manufactures, new labour laws, ease of doing business and production linked incentives, he said.

“We have an ambitious plan to invest $1.5 trillion under the National Infrastructure Pipeline. A pioneering multi-modal connectivity infrastructure master plan is being finalised. India has embarked on a massive infrastructure building spree of highways, railways, metros, water-ways, airports across the country. We are building millions of affordable houses for the neo-middle class. We want investments not just in big cities but smaller cities and towns too,” he said.

Reforms in the agricultural sector have opened up “new exciting possibilities to partner with the farmers of India”, the Prime Minister said, adding that the country can emerge as an agricultural export hub with use of technology and modern processing solutions. The last five months have seen a 13 per cent rise in FDI inflows compared to last year, he said.

Modi said the country’s quest for self-reliance or Aatmanirbhar Bharat is not a vision but a well-planned economic strategy. “A strategy that aims to use the capabilities of our businesses and skills of our workers to make India into a global manufacturing powerhouse,” he said.

The Virtual Global Investor Roundtable was organised by the Finance Ministry and National Investment and Infrastructure Fund. Global institutional investors, Indian business leaders, top government officials and financial market regulators were part of the meeting. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur, and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das also participated.

“The VGIR 2020 roundtable was a very productive and helpful forum which provided us insight into the government’s vision to build out the India economy and accelerate the growth of international institutional investment in India. India is key to our long-horizon investment strategy, focused on growth markets, and we have a strong appetite to build on our existing investments across infrastructure, industrial and consumer sectors,” Mark Machin, President & CEO of CPP Investments was quoted as saying in a release issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Charles Emond, President & CEO of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) said, “India is an important market for CDPQ — we have invested several billions in sectors such as renewables, logistics, financial services and technology-enabled services — and we aim to strengthen our presence over the coming years.

Jase Auby, Chief Investment Officer, Teacher Retirement System of Texas, USA said pension fund investors dedicate large portions of their portfolios to assets expected to benefit from growing economies and markets. “The structural reforms undertaken by India are likely to provide a strong foundation for such high growth well into the future,” the release quoted him as saying.

The Roundtable meeting was attended by CEOs and CIOs of 20 of the world’s largest pension and sovereign wealth funds with total Assets Under Management of about $6 trillion. The focus of VGIR 2020 was on discussions around India’s economic and investment outlook, structural reforms and the government’s vision for the path to a $5 trillion economy, an official release said.

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