Last year our diplomatic relations have completed 70 years. This long journey of 70 years has continuously strengthened the age old friendship, affinity and mutual understanding between the two countries. The change in the nature of this relationship to a Special and Privileged Strategic Partnership is an example of the similar aspirations and viewpoint of the two countries. Change is common phenomenon in the world. A lot has changed and is still changing, but the friendship between India and Russia has never changed.We are fortunate that the Ganga and Volga of Harmony and Friendship were always there, are there and will remain so. Our relations are expanding in almost every field. Its cornerstone is mutual trust and understanding between the two countries. It is a matter of great pleasure for all of us that the industrial world of both the countries is further strengthening this relationship. Efforts of the business communities of both the countries is having a positive impact on the economy and convenience of ordinary residents in both the countries. Indeed, we consider Russia to be the most important partner in our social and economic progress. The trade between the two countries has increased greatly in the last two years. If I talk only about 2017-18, India’s trade with Russia has grown by 20 percent. Encouraged by this, the government is constantly working to see that Russia’s investment in India increases further.All of you are well aware that to facilitate investment of Russian companies we have created a “Russia Plus” system in India. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide support to Russian investors and companies.I am told that the Joint Working Group is working to further enhance economic cooperation between the two countries. 23 projects have also been identified. Such cooperation will certainly increase the business activities between the two countries.Today, India is emerging like a bright star in the world. To speed it up further, our government is continuously pushing the reform process. Following the mantra of Reform, Perform and Transform, necessary changes are being made in every sector and concrete steps are also being taken to strengthen them. It is the result of structural reforms undertaken in the last 4 years that India’s economy is scaling new heights.Today we are the fastest growing major economy of the world. The size of our economy is now about $2.6 trillion. At present, India’s economy is at number six and is moving swiftly to be among the top five economies of the world.India is becoming a stable economy model in all areas. Our regulatory framework is also now more capable, more transparent and stable. GST, implemented last year, is a huge step. This has made the tax system in India much transparent. I am happy to inform you that these efforts are constantly delivering results. – In the last three years India has improved its ranking in World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index by 42 places. India has improved its ranking in the Global Innovation Index of World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) by 21 places. In World Global Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index, we have gone up 31 places in 2 years.
India is one of the 10 FDI Destinations listed by UNCTAD.
Such changes happen when decisions are taken at the grassroots level, policies are made and decisions are implemented with a visionary outlook. In the past few years we have done quite a lot of reforms in the field of FDI also. Today, we are the most open economy in terms of FDI. More than 90 percent of the approvals in India are now being given on Automatic Route. It is the result of this only that our FDI has almost doubled in the last 3 years. Apart from this, special programs such as Make in India are also being worked out to make India a global hub in the field of Manufacturing and Research. India is constantly expanding its ground of low cost manufacturing. Similarly, our IT industry is also working as a major force. India has moved forward to industry 4.0 through innovative areas of technology, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, 3D Printing and Robotics etc.All-round work is being done in India to create Next Generation Infrastructure. Emphasizing on Speed, Scale and Skill, we are moving forward understanding the needs of the 21st century. You all are aware that one sixth part of the world’s population lives in India. Our government is making efforts to increase their ‘Ease of Living’, in line with the aspirations of 1.25 billion people in the country.We are committed to build a new India where people can have a better quality of life. The government also believes that we have to do this work as quickly as possible. And of course, we also need your cooperation in this. We invite you to take advantage of the huge business opportunities being created in India. I would also like to give you some examples of this immense opportunity.- Our Sagarmala program through which we want to connect the coastal areas and the territorial areas of the country, there is also a great opportunity for all of you.- We want to start metro rail in 50 of our cities. This is also a great opportunity for you. Our rail and road program is immensely vast and we need to expand it continuously. This is also full of many possibilities for you.Along with the modernization of existing ports and airports in the country, constructing new ports and airports is also on our agenda.Considering the traditional and mutually beneficial relationship between India and Russia, I want to give some new suggestions on this occasion today.In the last few years, a lot of work has been done by different Indian states in the area of Ease of Doing Business. Now there is a healthy sense of competition between our states. I would like that the communication between Indian states and Russian provinces increase further. Second, Russia can become a source of conventional energy for us. At the same time, we would also like it to be involved in our campaign of New and Renewable Energy. Third, that both of our countries are kind of friends in the field of nuclear power. Now we not only can buy and sell technology, but together we can manufacture those things in India.Similarly, we can grow our old partnerships and understanding in the field of defense and produce it in India under Make in India.We will also welcome the fact that Russia opens a dedicated Defense Industrial Park in India. Similarly our IT and Pharma companies have a great opportunity to work in Russia. These are such areas where we can work by making joint ventures with the Russian companies.Russia’s experience in many areas can be very useful for our start-ups and especially in the field of space, in the field of Fertilizer, in the field of Gems and Jewelry and its experience in the field of food processing is very important. From this point of view, the four Focus Sectors which you have identified are very important. These include Energy, Digital Economy, Startup and Infrastructure.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address at India- Russia Business Summit
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