Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday called upon the US industry to take advantage of the scale, opportunities and recent reforms in India by investing in sectors as diverse as space and healthcare.
Addressing the India Ideas Summit hosted by the US-India Business Council via video conferencing, Modi said that there has never been a better time to invest in India.
“India is contributing towards a prosperous and resilient world through the clarion call of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’. And for that, we await your partnership,” he said.
“Today, there is global optimism towards India. This is because India offers a perfect combination of openness, opportunities and options. Let me elaborate. India celebrates openness in people and in governance. Open minds make open markets. Open markets lead to greater prosperity. These are principles on which both India and the US agree,” the Prime Minister said.
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Modi also said that India is emerging as a land of opportunities.
“Recently, an interesting report came out in India. It said that for the first time ever, there are more rural internet users than even urban internet users. Imagine the scale. There are about half a billion active internet users in India now. Half a billion connected people. Does this sound huge to you? Hold your breath.
“Because, there are over half a billion more people who are being connected. Opportunities in technology also include opportunities in the frontier technologies of 5G, Big data analytics, Quantum computing, Block-chain and internet of things,” the Prime Minister said.
Modi also pointed out the extensive options to invest in India.
He cited sectors such as agriculture, aviation, insurance and finance, defence and space, among others, which offer long-term sustainable returns and scale.
Exhorting investors, he said that tapping into the country’s food processing, aviation and power industry can be beneficial for them as key reforms have been carried out in these sectors.
“India has done historic reforms in the agriculture sector recently. There are investment opportunities in agricultural inputs and machinery, agriculture supply chain management, ready-to-eat items, and fisheries and organic produce. India’s food processing sector is expected to be worth over half a trillion dollar by 2025.
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“To grow more streams of revenue, the best time to tap investment opportunities in Indian agriculture sector is now. India invites you to invest in healthcare. The healthcare sector in India is growing faster than 22 per cent every year,” he said.
Modi also talked about investment opportunities for US companies in the country’s energy sector as India evolves into a gas-based economy.
On a lighter note, the Prime Minister said: “I have given you a few options and that too without any consultancy fees.”
In terms of FDI inflows, the Prime Minister revealed that India attracted $20 billion in foreign capital during April-July despite the Covid pandemic.
FDI inflows in India in 2019-20 were $74 billion, he said.
“But, India offers many more opportunities. We have what is needed to power the global economic recovery,” Modi said.
“The rise of India means a rise in trade opportunities with a nation that you can trust, a rise in global integration with increasing openness, a rise in your competitiveness with access to a market which offers scale, and a rise in your returns on investment with the availability of skilled human resources,”m he added.
In addition, the Prime Minister said that the US and India are natural partners as both are vibrant democracies with shared values.
“Now it is time our partnership plays an important role in helping the world bounce back faster after the pandemic,” he said.
“American investors often look out for the perfect timing to enter a sector or a country. To them, I would like to say: There has never been a better time to invest in India,” the Prime Minister added.