NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched India as a lucrative investment destination, which was not just open for business but ready to contribute to global growth.
“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,” Modi said during an interaction with 20 top funds from across the world and listed out the reforms undertaken during the last few years — from GST to the recent reforms in labour and farm laws.
Modi also focused on the changes in business and governance practices initiated by his government. “We are building a New India which is free of old practices. Today, India is changing and for the better,” he said.
The pitch came against the backdrop of signs of recovery from the pandemic shock.
The PM sought long-term investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, technology, farm, finance and even social sectors like health and education, while seeking to make India a manufacturing hub.
He again sought to impress upon investors that the push for self-reliance was not to be confused with a pursuit of autarky. Modi said it was an attempt to improve the country’s capabilities. “India’s quest to become Aatmanirbhar (self-reliant) is not just 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, a strategy that aims to use our strength in technology to become the global centre for innovations, a strategy that aims to contribute to global development using our immense human resources and their talents,” he said.
The government is hoping that pension and sovereign wealth fund bosses, who Modi interacted with on Thursday, will pump long-term funds into infrastructure for which a National Investment Pipeline with over 7,000 projects and around $1.5 trillion funding has been readied. In an interview, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had told TOI on Monday that infrastructure investment will have a multiplier effect, boosting demand in other sectors.
India has been seeking global investors and weaning away companies from China, seeking to diversify their production bases. During his address at the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable organised by the finance ministry and the National Infrastructure Investment Fund (NIIF), Modi emphasised on democracy and responsible practices in the country and sought to position India as a large diverse market.
“I am conscious of your requirement to provide the funds in your trust, the best and safest long-term returns. Therefore, I would like to emphasise that our approach is of finding long-term and sustainable solutions for issues. Such an approach mixes very well with your requirements,” he said.