This is the best time to invest in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a special address to world leaders, while detailing various steps the country has taken to make it the “most attractive” investment destination in the world. The PM said Indian youth have an entrepreneual spirit and an eagerness to innovate and adopt new technology. “Indian youth are ready to take your businesses & ideas to new heights. With our global skills, India has registered more than 60,000 startups in 2021,” he said while speaking at the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) five-day online ‘Davos Agenda’ summit.
“India offers a ‘bouquet of hope’ to the world. It includes our trust in democracy; it includes our technology, our temperament and talent,” he said. “In 2014, there were maybe a hundred registered startups in India. Now, the number has crossed 60 thousand. We also have more than 80 unicorns now, more than 40 of them achieved that status just last year,” he said.
The Prime Minister highlighted India’s innovations in technology and digital infrastructure, rapid adaptation of technologies like the Unified Payments Interface (UPI), technological solutions like Arogya Setu and CoWin, and tax reforms to strengthen ‘ease of doing business’ in the country. He also pointed out that India sends a record number of software developers to the world and has the third highest number of Unicorns. On advancement in digital solutions, he mentioned that just last month India saw 4.4 billion transactions on UPI.
“We also focused on reforms in the right direction. Global economic experts have praised India’s decisions and I’m certain that we will fulfill the world’s aspirations from India,” he said.
PM Modi spoke of a long-term, sustainable vision of the future of economic growth. “Today India is making policies, taking decisions regarding the present as well as the goals of the next 25 years. In this period, India has set the goals of high growth, a saturation of welfare, and wellness,” he said.
This growth would be green, clean, sustainable and reliable, he stressed, while pointing out India’s commitment on climate change and various initiatives the government is taking for a green and sustainable future. PM Modi spoke at length about a change in lifestyle to be more climate conscious and said that “throw away culture” and consumerism has deepened the climate crisis.
“In COP26, I gave ‘Mission L.I.F.E. – Lifestyle for Environment’. We have to now work & innovate towards ‘P3 Movement – ‘Pro-Planet People’. This will help us reach our sustainable environment goals,” he said.
PM Modi said India is now becoming the “new, attractive” investment destination because of several initiatives taken by the government that appeal to the business community. “More than 6 lakh villages have been connected with optical fibre. To bring every stakeholder of development on one platform, India has started the Gatishakti national masterplan,” he said.
“We have launched PM Gatishakti Master plan that will integrate infrastructure, development & implementation. It will seamlessly connect goods, people and services,” he added.
Along with Chinese President Xi Jinping who spoke earlier today, a special address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the highlight of the first day.
The WEF’s face-to-face gathering of political and corporate power players, which has been taking place in the Swiss ski resort town of Davos for 50 years now, has been forced online for two years in a row now because of the Covid pandemic that continues unabated.
PM Modi’s address would be followed by the address of United Nations’ Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Japan’s Prime Minister Kishida Fumio are scheduled to deliver their respective special addresses on Tuesday (January 18), when special sessions would also be held on global social contract and challenges of vaccine equity, which would be attended by WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Serum Institute of India chief Adar Poonawalla, among others.
The WEF has said ‘Davos Agenda 2022’ will be the first global platform for key world leaders to share their visions for 2022 and it is being convened on the theme of ‘The State of the World’.