Calling for foreign investments in India's rapidly growing economy, Prime Minister Narendra Modi "invited the world" to invest in the vast opportunities provided by the vibrant and diverse 1.2 billion people market on Friday.
"I am here today representing the 1.25 billion Indians. For the past three years, I have been the Prime Minister of India. In these three years, India has got a strong and stable government. Today, India's GDP is at 7 percent. It is the fastest growing economy in the world," Modi said during his speech at the St. Petersberg International Economic Forum(SPIEF) 2017 on Friday.
Modi is currently on a six-day, four-nation European tour to Germany, Spain, Russia and France with a view to boost India's economy. From Russia, Modi will leave for Paris to hold talks with French president Emmanuel Macron.
Stressing on his "minimum government, maximum governance" ideology, Modi said, "One thing is certain, when there is political will, stability and clear vision, there is reform. When bureaucracy is vibrant, proactive, in tune with the decision making body, it performs well."
"Today, India is progressing at a rapid pace. There are more than 1,700 dialects. Diversity is our strength," the prime minister added.
This was the first time that an Indian prime minister was attending the SPIEF forum, which is held annually in St. Petersburg, Russia’s second largest city and President Vladimir Putin’s hometown.
Putin, who addressed the session before Modi, also spoke of Russia’s attractiveness for investors, pointing out the technological advancements of its youth.
Speaking on the need to curb digital divide, Modi appealed for investments in technology. "As Putin said, the coming generation is technology-driven. Technology has become a part of life. We have the Digital India campaign. We have to acknowledge that digital divide can create a big problem in any society. That's why in a progressing society, under no condition should digital divide exist," he said.
The prime minister shared India's efforts in involving even the poor in the flow of economy. "Every Indian is provided with the benefit of banking. Technology is used for the same. By using biometric identity of each citizen, we have achieved much. We are aiming to bring a change in quality of life," Modi said, as he mentioned JAM — Jan Dhan, Aadhaar and Mobile — schemes.
Mentioning India's efforts on improving World Economic Forum's ease of doing business index rankings, Modi shared how the federal government has had 7,000 new reforms in three years of his governance.
Praising India's position as one of the three most favourable investment-making destinations, Modi said, "It is true that when an investor enters a market, security is the most important issue. Investment and risk security are also important. Since English is a highly-preferred language, interpreting our law is not difficult. Any person in the world can understand our laws."
While sharing the government's 'new India' dream, Modi mentioned plans of improving infrastructure in the country. "In the eyes of the world, India is a market of 1.2 billion people. We also have 800 million under the age of 35. India is a young country," he said.
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Modi said that his government’s plan towards developing India is built on investments in infrastructure, agriculture, manufacturing and services.
"India is a country of villages. Most modern infrastructure is needed; solid waste management is needed in 500 cities. We have the second largest rail network in the world. Everyday, close to 2.5 crore people travel in rail bogies. I want to expand and upgrade this rail network. Make it safe. There is huge scope for infrastructure," he said.
Drawing the attention for investment in the Clean Ganga drive, Modi said, "Exploitation of the nature is a crime. That is why in our manufacturing sector, we believe in having zero defect in manufacturing, zero effect on environment."
The prime minister urged for quality investment. "Benchmark of the quality should be global. No manufacturing unit should have effect on environment. Today in India, investment in renewable energy. Big invitation to the world because we are working with responsibility," he said.
"With 'sky is the limit' attitude, I invite you all. A nation of 1.2 billion people invites the world. The world’s oldest civilisation invites you all," he added.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jun 02, 2017 20:41:00 IST