At a virtual global investor round table, Modi invites investments for ‘returns with reliability’

Pitching India’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic as a signal of its inherent strengths, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India’s economy has been stable and all sectors are now looking up, as he invited global money managers looking for “returns with reliablility” to invest in the country.

Mr. Modi said the government is finalising a “pioneering multi-modal connectivity infrastructure masterplan” under the National Infrastructure Pipeline, which envisages investments of $1.5 trillion. “We are building millions of affordable houses for the neo-middle class. We want investment not just in big cities but smaller cities and towns too,” the PM said, citing the GIFT City in Gujarat as one such city being developed.

“Today, each sector in India is looking up — manufacturing, infrastructure, technology, agriculture, finance, and even social sectors like health and education… India is the place to be if you want returns with reliability, demand with democracy, stability with sustainability, and growth with a green approach,” the PM said.

Addressing a virtual global investor round table attended by 20 large global investment funds managing over $6 trillion, the PM said India’s “brave fight during the pandemic reflected its sense of responsibility, spirit of compassion, national unity and the spark of innovation”.

“India has shown remarkable resilience in this pandemic, be it fighting the virus or ensuring economic stability. This resilience is driven by the strength of our systems, support of our people and stability of our policies,” Mr Modi said, explaining that social distancing and wearing of masks practised by the people helped India put up a strong fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“We are building a new India which is free of old practices… India’s quest to become ‘Atma Nirbhar’ is not just a vision, but a well-planned economic strategy,” the PM said, listing out recent administrative reforms as well as legislative changes in areas such as agriculture, labour, education, manufacturing and the “rationalisation of the public sector”.

The stability of India’s policies has made it a preferred investment destination, the PM said, citing the 13% rise in FDI (foreign direct investment) inflows in the first five months of this year.

“I am happy that the global investor community has been showing confidence in our future… Your active participation in this round table increases the confidence even more,” he told top officials of these global institutional investors, which included sovereign wealth funds as well as pension funds.

“I am aware that I am addressing some of the best financial brains, who can convert new areas of innovation and growth into sustainable business propositions. At the same time, I am conscious of your requirement to provide the funds in your trust the best and safest long-term returns. Therefore, I would like to emphasise that our approach is of finding long-term and sustainable solutions for issues. Such an approach mixes very well with your requirements,” the PM said.

“I am happy to see your eagerness to enhance your engagements with us and hope that our better understanding of each other’s perspectives will result in a better alignment of your plans and our vision,” he said, stressing that the country would do whatever it takes to become the engine of global growth resurgence.

“India’s growth has the potential to catalyse global economic resurgence. Any achievements by India will have a multiplier effect on the world’s development and welfare. A strong and vibrant India can contribute to the stabilisation of the world economic order,” he concluded.

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