Narendra Modi addresses Indian diaspora in Jakarta, calls India one of the most important 'open economies'

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday addressed the Indian diaspora in Jakarta on his first official visit.

"I felt massive respect for India in Indonesia," said the prime minister as he stressed on strong India-Indonesia ties and highlighted his government's achievements.

"I am very proud of the fact that you (the Indian diaspora in Indonesia) have been contributing a lot to Indonesia's development," Modi said. "This is the changed India. People from across the world look at you with pride," he added.

 Narendra Modi addresses Indian diaspora in Jakarta, calls India one of the most important open economies

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. PTI

"Today, India is one of the most important open economies in the world. The country's foreign exchange reserves increased from $300 billion to $400. In terms of FDI confidence index, India is one of the top two emerging markets. In ease of doing business, India's ranking has increased to rank 100 from 142," Modi said.

"In the past 14 years, for the first time, Moody's improved India's credit rating. It was Moody's, not Modi," said the prime minister.

"India is the world's largest democracy. And the roots of democracy are deep in Indonesia too. This is the reason why people gave such an ordinary person like me an opportunity to become prime minister. Similarly, people in Indonesia chose Widodo," he said. "If India has a closest neighbour, it is Indonesia," he added.

"India and Indonesia have decided to take their strategic ties to a new level. Security-related discussions are increasing between our two nations," he said. Modi also said that his government had been trying to utilise the potential of the huge population in India below 35 years of age.

"For our government, corruption-free, citizen-friendly and development-friendly ecosystem is the biggest priority," he said. The prime minister then highlighted his government's achievements during the past four years and also took digs at the previous UPA government. "In India, we have got rid of 1,400 old and archaic laws," he said.

"We are focusing on ease of living. We are developing a system in India which is transparent and sensitive. The pace of converting railway lines into broad guages has doubled." "Power transmission lines are being installed at twice the pace at which it was being done earlier. We have put optical fibre in 1,10,000 gram panchayats, as opposed to 59 gram panchayats covered by the past government in 4 years," he said.

"New engineering, management and medical colleges are opening up in large numbers. In the last two and a half years, the world's largest start-up ecosystem has been created in India," Modi said. "In the past 4 years, whenever Indians were in trouble because of events abroad, we rescued over 90,000 Indians and brought them back to our country," he said.

"The law is the same. The babus are the same. The office is the same. Everything is the same. But it is the government which has changed. And thus, the country is changing," the prime minister added.

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Updated Date: May 30, 2018 16:52:03 IST