PM makes investment pitch to US, vouches for self-reliant India

23 July, 2020 | Priyanka Sharma

PM Modi National

Addressing the India Ideas Summit hosted by US-India Business Council, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that India has what is needed to power the global economic recovery. He added that India is ...

Calling for greater US investments in areas such as agriculture, defence, civil aviation, healthcare, energy, infrastructure and finance and insurance, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday said there has never been a better time to invest in the country and rise of India will lead to a rise in “trade opportunities with a nation that you can trust”.

Addressing the India Ideas Summit hosted by US-India Business Council, the Prime Minister said that India has what is needed to power the global economic recovery. He said India is emerging as a land of opportunities. “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,” he said.

“When the markets are open, when the opportunity is high and the options are many, can optimism be far behind. You can see the optimism when India rises in key business ratings, particularly the Ease of Doing Business ratings of the World Bank,” he added.

He said options to invest in India are extensive. “India invites you to invest in the hard work of our farmers. 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, fisheries and organic produce,” he said, adding that India’s food processing sector is expected to be worth over half a trillion dollars by 2025.

To grow more streams of revenue, the best time to tap investment opportunities in Indian agriculture sector is now, he said.

“India invites you to invest in healthcare. The Healthcare sector in India is growing faster than 22 per cent every year. Our companies are also progressing in production of medical-technology, tele-medicine and diagnostics,” he said.

Noting that India and the US have already built a robust partnership in the pharma sector, he said “now is the best time to expand your investment in Indian health-care sector” to achieve scale and speed. Calling for investment in the energy sector he said there will be big investment opportunities for US companies as India evolves into a gas-based economy.

“There are also big opportunities in the clean energy sector. To generate more power for your investment, this is the best time to enter the Indian power sector,” he said.

Referring to infrastructure, he said India is witnessing the largest infrastructure creation drive in its history. “Come, be a partner in building housing for millions, or building roads, highways and ports in our nation.”

The Prime Minister said Civil Aviation is another area of great potential growth. “The number of air passengers is expected to more than double within the next eight years. The top private Indian airlines plan to include over a thousand new aircraft over the coming decade. This is a huge opportunity for any investor who chooses to set up manufacturing facilities in India, which can become a base for supplying regional markets,” he said.

“A similar case is obvious for setting up Maintenance Repair and Operations facilities. To give flight to your aviation targets, this is an ideal time to invest in the Indian aviation sector,” he added.

Referring to defence and space sectors, he said India is raising the FDI cap for investment in defence sector to 74 per cent. “India has established two defence corridors to encourage the production of defence equipment and platforms. We offer special incentives for private and foreign investors. A few weeks ago, we cleared path-breaking reforms in the space sector. Come, be a part of these upcoming sectors,” he said.

Pointing to finance and insurance, he said India has raised FDI cap for investment in insurance to 49 per cent.”Now 100 per cent FDI is permitted for investment in insurance intermediaries. The insurance market in India is growing at a rate of more than 12 per cent and is expected to grow to USD 250 billion by 2025,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that with the success of Ayushman Bharat, health assurance scheme, PM Fasal Bima Yojna, our crop insurance scheme and Jan Suraksha or social security schemes, the government has laid the ground for quick adoption and acceptance of insurance products.

“There are large untapped opportunities for increasing insurance cover in health, agriculture, business and life insurance. To generate long term and assured revenues, the Indian insurance sector is one of the best investment options right now,” he said. “I have given you a few options and that too without any consultancy fees,” he quipped.

The Prime Minister said there are about half a billion active internet users in India now.

“India is emerging as a land of opportunities. Let me give you one example of the tech sector. Recently, an interesting report came out in India. It said 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,” he said.

The Prime Minister said opportunities in technology also include opportunities in the frontier technologies of 5G, big data analytics, quantum computing, block-chain and Internet of things.