India best place for long-term investment: PM Narendra Modi to global investors

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Making a strong pitch to global investors to be part of India’s growth story, prime minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India will do whatever it takes to make it the engine of global growth resurgence in the post-covid world.

“India’s growth has the potential to catalyze global economic resurgence. Any achievement by India will have a multiplier effect on world’s development and welfare. A strong and vibrant India can contribute to stabilization of the world economic order. We will do whatever it takes to make India the engine of global growth resurgence,” Modi said while addressing the top global fund managers under the banner of Virtual Global Investor Roundtable (VGIR).

The meet saw participation from across the world represented by the 20 head honchos of sovereign wealth and pension funds such as GIC, Temasek, US International Development Finance Corporation, Pension Denmark, Qatar Investment Authority, Japan Post Bank and Korea Investment Corporation and others with total assets under management worth $6 trillion. Major Indian industrialists including Deepak Parekh, Ratan Tata, Nandan Nilekani, Mukesh Ambani, Dilip Shanghvi and Uday Kotak also shared their experience at the meet.

Seeking investments in India’s ambitious National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) worth $1.5 trillion, Modi said a pioneering multi-modal connectivity infrastructure masterplan is being also finalized. “India has embarked on a massive infrastructure building spree of highways, railways, metros, waterways, airports across the country. We are building millions of affordable houses for the new middle class. We want investments not just in big cities but smaller cities and towns too,” he added.

While initial estimates put 40% of the expected capital expenditure in the NIP to be contributed by states followed by 39% by the centre and 21% by private sector, those ratios may tilt significantly towards the private sector with significant stress in finances of central and state governments post the coronavirus induced slowdown. With Indian legacy companies highly leveraged, government is seeking to attract foreign investment to meet its infrastructure and growth deficits.

Highlighting the measures taken by the government to improve manufacturing potential in the country including the benign corporate tax regime, new labour code and production linked incentive schemes in specific sectors, Modi said he is conscious of the requirement of the funds to provide the best and safest long term returns. “Therefore, our approach is of finding long term and sustainable solutions for issues. Such an approach mixes very well with your requirement,” he added.

Modi said India’s quest to become self-reliant is not just a vision but a well-planned economic strategy. “A strategy that aims to use the capabilities of our businesses and skills of our workers to make India into a global manufacturing powerhouse; a strategy that aims to use our strength in technology to become a global centre for innovation; a strategy that aims to contribute to global development using our immense human resources and their talents,” he added.

Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General at Confederation of Indian Industry said a very positive and substantive message has gone out from Prime Minister Modi to global investors. “He has clearly outlined the key advantages that India offers to the world such as human resources, innovation and technology strengths and a vibrant business ecosystem with a focus on Environmental, Social and Governance standards. This will go a long way towards attracting foreign investors and assuring them that India is open for business as a stable and resilient partner for them,” he added.

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