Jaitley to visit Singapore, Hong Kong to woo global investors


India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to visit Hong Kong and Singapore on September 17. This four-day visit, in the backdrop of the growing global economic uncertainty, is an attempt to woo global investors. Apart from meeting investors Mr Jaitley is also scheduled to attend the Singapore summit on September 18, where he will be the keynote speaker.

The agenda for the Singapore summit is global economy, implications of the sharp drop in energy prices, and the need for new business models in a Global-Asia business landscape that is changing rapidly. Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian will also be attending the Singapore summit and will participate in a session on ‘Striving for Growth amidst Global Uncertainty’. Mr Jaitley’s visit comes at a time when investors are wary of investing. He is also scheduled to address a global investors’ conference organised by Goldman Sachs at Singapore and Hong Kong. The Finance Minister is expected to pitch the India story to woo investments into various sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure and smart cities.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced various initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ to bolster the manufacturing sector in India. Recently, 98 Indian cities were shortlisted by the government as ‘smart’ cities to improve the quality of urban living standards and also create a conducive environment for investors. In the long run this will help provide more employment opportunities in these cities. India has already collaborated with countries such as Japan, Germany, USA, China and Singapore to help build these ‘smart’ cities.

India has been a bright spot during this global turmoil even as other emerging markets have been hit including the world’s second largest economy, China. The slowdown in China’s economy and its recent market crash has led to panic in the global markets. China is expected to grow below 7 percent, its lowest in 25 years. The devaluing of the yuan has further added to volatility in the currency markets. Exports of many countries have been hit.

India, on the other hand, is growing at a healthy rate of 7 percent and is expected to do well in the next few quarters according to reports from leading global financial institutions. India’s fundamentals are strong and it is this pitch that Mr Jaitley is expected to make to foreign investors by showing India as an alternative growth engine to China.

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