St Petersburg (IANS) - Hardselling 'ease of doing business' as India's USP, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited global businesses to exploit the tremendous opportunities available and invest in the expanding infrastructure, manufacturing, defence and service sectors, making use of the vibrant judicial system and the country's felicity with English.
"Sky is the limit for economic development in India. There is a great scope for building of infrastructure. I invite all of you, the whole world to come and invest in India in whatever sector you want to come," he said addressing global investors in the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has floated SPIEF as "Davos of the East" and Modi as a special guest this year, was present when he addressed the forum.
Investors welcome across sectors
Listing the various sectors including food processing, medical devices, tourism and entertainment industry, Modi said, "I invite you all to join in India's defence equipment manufacturing because India is a big market". In defence equipment manufacture, Modi said there are several areas where licensing norms have been abolished and investors could step in. Elaborating on the advantages of investing in India, the prime minister said investors only come where there is security because they take risk. "India has a vibrant judicial system and security is in built for investors. The wide use of English helps the world easily understand our legal system. There is a large English-speaking world out there. "Judicial interpretation is easy. So you can take decisions. For Foreign Direct Investment there is security. It will be a big boost to FDI investors."
Again listing the areas where foreign investors could step in, Modi said India needed infrastructure to transform 500 cities, expand, modernise and safety upgrade of the railways as well as technical intervention in agriculture to raise productivity.
‘India among top 3 FDI destinations’
Claiming that ease of doing business in India has improved vastly, Modi said top international institutions like the World Bank and IMF, the World Economic Forum and all rating agencies agree that India is among the top three favoured destinations for FDI. He said while 1,200 laws, which had no utility had been scrapped, the Central government alone had initiated 7,000 new reforms in a short period of three years. "If we add the reforms of the states, the number will go up much higher," he said. "We have done many reforms to improve the competitiveness and the ranking. For the first time, we have been able to invite a big amount of FDI in the last three years," he said.
Giving his government's concept of developing India by equally apportioning share to agriculture, manufacture and service sector, he said the biggest advantage is 800 million people in India who were below the age of 35, and who had a wealth of talent, especially in technology. Organic farming and food processing, where great value addition prospects are there, were the other areas where businessmen could come in, he said.
‘Digital divide a crisis’
Speaking about the digital era, he cautioned against allowing a digital divide in society as that could lead to a very big crisis. "We have to ensure that there is no digital divide in society and so we have started this Digital India programme," he said. The Prime Minister also touched upon the 'Jam Trinity' of Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile technology and said financial inclusion has been given a special emphasis.