Showcasing the India opportunity to global investors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has underlined his government’s resolve to make India the “engine of growth resurgence” and urged them to invest not only in big cities, but also in smaller cities and towns.“Aatma Nirbhar Bharat (self-reliance) is not just a vision but a well-planned economic strategy that ensures returns with reliability, demand with democracy, stability with sustainability, and growth with greenery,” he said. India offers investors democracy, demography, demand as well as diversity, he added.
The PM said India bravely fought the global pandemic which revealed its national character and true strengths to the world. “The pandemic has brought out traits like a sense of responsibility, a spirit of compassion, national unity and the spark of innovation, for which Indians are known for,” he said at the virtual conference organized on October 5. He attributed this remarkable resilience against the pandemic to the strength of the systems in India, support of the people and stability of the government’s policies.
Mr Modi stressed aid that New India that is being built is free of old practices and today, it is changing for the better. The Aatma Nirbhar strategy aims to use the capabilities of India’s businesses and skills of its workers to make India into a global manufacturing powerhouse. It also aims to use the country’s strength in technology to become a global centre for innovations and aims to contribute to global development using its immense human resources and talents.
The Indian leader added that investors are today moving towards companies which have a high environmental, social and governance (ESG) score. He showcased India as a nation with such systems in place and with companies ranking high on ESG score. He said that “Such is our diversity that you get multiple markets within one market. These come with multiple pocket sizes and multiple preferences. These come with multiple weathers and multiple levels of development.”
The prime minister explained how the government’s approach of finding long-term and sustainable solutions for issues, gels well with the investor’s requirement to provide the funds in trust, the best and safest long-term returns. He listed various initiatives of the government aimed at improving the manufacturing potential and improving ease of doing business.“We have taken multiple initiatives to improve our manufacturing potential; we ushered in a one-tax-system in the form GST, one of the lowest corporate tax rates and added incentive for new manufacturing, faceless regime for IT assessment and appeal, a new labor law regime balancing the welfare of workers and ease of doing business for the employers,” he said, adding that in the last 5 months, FDI inflows to the country rose by 13 % compared to the same period last year.
Mr Modi listed various infrastructure projects planned under the National Infrastructure Pipeline with a corpus of $1.5 trillion for faster economic growth and poverty reduction. India has embarked on a massive infrastructure building spree of highways, railways, metros, water-ways, and airports across the country; millions of affordable houses are also planned, he added. The prime minister assured the investors that the government will do whatever it takes to make India the “engine of global growth resurgence”. India’s growth will have a multiplier impact on the world’s development and welfare; a strong and vibrant India can contribute to stabilization of the world economic order, he said.
How the CEOs reacted
Mr Modi’s speech highlighting myriad advantages of investing in India amid pandemic elicited positive reception from CEOs of global companies.Mark Machin, President and CEO of CPP Investments remarked: “The VGIR 2020 roundtable has provided us an insight into the government’s vision to build the Indian 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”.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. I’d like to sincerely thank Prime Minister Modi and his government for taking the lead on organizing this roundtable.”
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.”
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