Delivering the keynote address at the India Ideas Summit hosted by the US-India Business Council, USIBC today, PM Modi noted that in the last six years, efforts have been undertaken to make the Indian economy more open and reform oriented. He said, the reforms have ensured competitiveness, enhanced transparency, expanded digitization, greater innovation and more policy stability.
Hailing India as a land of opportunities, the Prime Minister said, there are about half a billion active internet users in the country now and 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.
Mr Modi underlined that there are extensive opportunities to invest in a variety of sectors in India. He spoke 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.
Noting that the healthcare sector in India is growing faster than 22 per cent 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.
The Prime Minister also listed several other sectors which offer tremendous opportunities to invest like energy, infrastructure, roads, highways and ports, civil aviation among others. He mentioned that India is raising the FDI cap for investment in defence sector to 74 per cent and two defence corridors have been established to encourage production of defense equipment and platforms.
He added that special incentives are offered for private and foreign investors. PM Modi also mentioned path-breaking reforms being undertaken in the space sector.
Inviting investment in finance and insurance, Prime Minister said that India has raised the FDI cap for investment in insurance to 49 per cent and 100 per cent FDI is permitted for investment in insurance intermediaries. He noted that there are large untapped opportunities for increasing insurance cover in health, agriculture, business and life insurance.
PM Modi 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. Reaching out to the American investors, he said that there has never been a better time to invest in India.
The Prime Minister spoke about the need to place the poor and the vulnerable at the core of the growth agenda. He underlined that Ease of Living is as important as Ease of Business.
He said that the pandemic has reminded of the importance of resilience of the global economy against external shocks, which can be achieved by stronger domestic economic capacities. He emphasized that India is contributing towards a prosperous and resilient world through the clarion call of an Aatma Nirbhar Bharat.
Mr Modi congratulated USIBC on its 45th anniversary this year. He thanked the USIBC leadership for their commitment to advancing India-US economic partnership.