Delivering the keynote address at the India Idea Summit organised by the US-India Business Council, PM Modi noted that the reforms undertaken in the past six years have ensured increased competitiveness, transparency, expanded digitisation and led to more policy stability. He also laid out the progress made by each sector and invited US companies to invest in India.
Investment opportunities across sectors
Underlining that there are extensive opportunities for investment in India, PM listed several key sectors:
* Agriculture: PM Modi talked about the historic reforms recently undertaken in the agriculture sector and said that there are opportunities to invest in areas including agriculture inputs and machinery, agriculture supply chain, food processing sector, fisheries and organic produce.
* Healthcare: Noting that the healthcare sector in India is growing faster than 22% every year and the progress of Indian companies in production of medical-technology, tele-medicine and diagnostics, he said that now is the best time to expand investment in Indian healthcare sector.
* Technology: Citing the example of a recent report which noted that there are more internet users in rural India than in urban cities, PM said there are about half a billion active internet users in the country now, while over half a billion more people are being connected. He also mentioned opportunities in the frontier technologies of 5G, Big Data analytics, Quantum Computing, Block-chain and Internet of Things.
* Energy: The PM further noted as India evolves into a gas-based economy, there will be big investment opportunities for US companies.
* Infrastructure: Stating that the nation is witnessing the largest infrastructure creation drive in history, he invited US companies to partner in building houses, highways and ports in the country.
* Civil aviation: PM Modi noted that the aviation sector has huge potential for growth. He said the number of air passengers are expected to more than double within next 8 years. The top private Indian airlines plan to include over a thousand new aircraft over the coming decade.
* Defense and space: PM Modi further extended his invitation to invest in the defense and space sectors of the country. He noted that India is increasing FDI (foreign direct investment) cap for investment in defense to 74 per cent and has also established two defense corridors to encourage production of defense equipment and platforms.
* Finance and insurance: Inviting investment in finance and insurance, the Prime Minister said that India has raised the FDI cap for investment in insurance to 49% and 100% FDI is permitted for investment in insurance intermediaries. He also noted that there are large untapped opportunities for increasing insurance cover in health, agriculture, business and life insurance.
Rise in Ease of Doing Business rankings
PM Modi also talked about India’s rise in Ease of Doing Business rankings of the World Bank. He underlined that each year, India is reaching record highs in FDI, adding that FDI inflows in the year 2019-20 were $74 billion, which is an increase of 20% over the previous year.
He further highlighted that even during the pandemic, India has attracted foreign investment of more than $20 billion between April and July this year.
Global economic resilience
PM Modi emphasised on the need to place the poor and the vulnerable at the core of growth agenda. He underlined that ‘Ease of Living’ is as important as ‘Ease of Business’. He further said that the Covid-19 pandemic has reminded us of the importance of resilience of the global economy against external shocks, which can be achieved by stronger domestic economic capacities.
Best time to invest in India
The Prime Minister said that India has what is needed to power the global economic recovery. He noted that India’s rise means a rise in trade opportunities with a nation that can be trusted, a rise in global integration with increasing openness, a rise in competitiveness with access to a market which offers scale, and a rise in returns on investment with the availability of skilled human resources.
Calling USA and India as natural partners, he said this partnership can play an important role in helping the world bounce back faster after the pandemic.
In Video:“There has never been a better time to invest in India”: PM Modi at India Ideas Summit