When it comes to investment, India serves clear answers to questions that an investor usually poses to himself before investing in any country

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said India serves as one of the most attractive destinations of investments as it offers opportunities for everyone to set up units and run investments in the country.

“There is an opportunity to invest (in India), to set up units and to run businesses. There is an opportunity to partner with our private sector and with the governments. There is an opportunity to earn as well as learn not only that as well as to lead, there is an opportunity to grow,” the Prime Minister said in his keynote address at the Invest India Conference in Canada.

Referring to bilateral engagement between India and Canada, he said the ties between the two countries “are driven by our shared democratic values and many common interests. The trade and investment linkages between us are integral to our multifaceted relationship.”

“Canada is the 20th largest foreign investor in India. More than 600 Canadian companies have a presence in India. I am told that Canadian Pension Funds have pledged around US $ 50 billion as investment in India till now. Our relationship is perhaps far stronger than what the numbers suggest. But that also means together, we can achieve much more,” the Prime Minister said.

Canada is home to some of the largest and most experienced infrastructure investors. Canadian Pension Funds were the first ones to start investing directly in India. Many of them have already discovered great opportunities in a range of areas like highways, airports, logistics, telecom and real estate. They are looking at expanding their presence and finding new areas to invest.

“Mature Canadian investors who have been in India for many years now can be our best brand ambassadors. Their own experience, their plan to expand and diversify can be the most credible evidence for all of you to come here too.”

“In addition, you have the benefit of knowing India well. After all, Canada has one of the largest Indian Diaspora in the world. There would be no barriers for you here. You would find yourself as welcome here as in your own country,” Prime Minister Modi said.

He said when it comes to investment, India serves as clear answers to questions that an investor usually poses to himself before investing in any country.

“I want to ask you: What do you think about before investing in any country? Does the country have vibrant Democracy? Does the country have political stability? Does the country have investment and business friendly policies? Does the country have transparency in governance? Does the country have a skilled talent pool? Does the country have a large market? These are different questions, you may be asking. The undisputed answer to all these questions is one and that is India,” he said.

Taking his narrative of India as a significant business destination, he said, “The India story is strong today and stronger tomorrow. Let me explain how. Today, the FDI regime has been very well liberalized. We have created a friendly tax regime for Sovereign Wealth and Pension Funds. We have undertaken significant reforms for developing a robust Bond market. We have come up with Incentive schemes for Champion sectors.”

“Schemes in sectors like in Pharma, Medical Devices and Electronics Manufacturing have already been in operation. We want to ensure high-level attention and effective hand-holding for investors,” he added.

“For this, a dedicated Empowered Group of Secretaries has been made. We are proactively monetizing assets across sectors- Airports, Railways, Highways, Power Transmission lines so many. Real Estate Investment Trusts and Infrastructure Investment Trusts have been fully enabled for monetization of both public and private assets,” the Prime Minister maintained.

Highlighting the government’s attempt on the ease of doing business, he said, "Today, India is undergoing a rapid change in mindsets as well as markets. Today, India has embarked on a journey of deregulation and decriminalization of various offences under the companies act. India has risen from 81 to 48 in the Global Innovation Index rankings in the last 5 years. India has risen 142 to 63 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings in the last 5 years. The results of these improvements are there for everyone to see.”

India received around US $ 70 billion from Institutional Investors in a year and a half between January 2019 to July 2020. This is almost equal to that received in four years between 2013 and 2017.

The continuing confidence of the global investor community in India is seen by the fact that FDI into India went up by 20% in 2019. And, this when global FDI inflows fell by 1%. India has already received over US $20 billion during the first 6 months of this year from across the globe.

“This is also the time when Covid-19 has been at peak globally. The International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at GIFT City is one of our major initiatives. Investors could utilize it as a preferred platform to transact globally. We have recently set-up a fully empowered unified regulator for it,” the Prime Minister said.