Modi says India wants to promote manufacturing, wraps up three-nation visit

  • PTI, Seoul
  • Updated: May 19, 2015 17:19 IST

Wooing global investors, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday promised a more stable and predictable taxation system and said his government was working aggressively to make India a very easy place to do business.

Addressing South Korean CEOs in Seoul on the last day of his three-nation tour, he said his government has in last one year restored India's global positioning in politics, governance and economy. Modi later wrapped up his three-nation visit and flew back home from Korea.

"But we are not going to stop here. We have to and we will do a lot better," he said.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), he said, was important and will not come to India "without a globally competitive business environment."

"So, we are working aggressively for making India a very easy place to do business," he said.

Seeking collaboration with Korean businesses in sectors like IT and electronics, steel making, railways, ship building and housing, Modi said, "A dedicated mechanism for hand holding of Korean investors" is being formed.

"It will be known as Korea Plus. In addition I assure you of my personal attention if there are any issues," he said.

Read | Modinomics, Korea's 3.0 economic plan can combine, says South Korea President Park Geun-hye

The BJP-led government in the last 11 months has taken a series of measures to improve the business environment and enhance investor confidence.

"We do believe that 'ease of doing business' has become an important factor in attracting investments in the country," he said, adding the government stood committed to make "taxation system more stable, predictable and transparent."

"We have already resolved many taxation issues affecting the foreign investors. This is all to become more conducive for business and bring in technology and capital," he said.

Maintaining that initial steps have got good results, the Prime Minister said sentiments for private investment and inflow of foreign investment are positive.

"Our growth rate is above 7%. FDI inflows have gone up by 39% during April-2014 and February-2015 against the same period in previous year," he said.

Modi said several international financial institutions like World Bank and IMF are predicting even faster growth in the coming years.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, right, is greeted by Indian residents in South Korea as he visits the Cheonggye stream in Seoul, South Korea.AP Photo

"Moody's has recently upgraded the rating of India as positive on account of our concrete steps in various economic segments," he said.

The Prime Minister said India particularly wants to promote manufacturing in a big way to create jobs for the youth.

For this purpose, he said the government has launched the 'Make in India' campaign.

"This campaign and commitment includes bringing our industrial infrastructure, policies and practices to best global standards and to convert India into a global manufacturing hub," he said.

Cleaner and greener development and 'Zero defect Zero effect' manufacturing is another commitment, Modi said.

"We have launched a 'Clean India' campaign with emphasis on adoption of better environmental technologies," he said, adding that to provide digital infrastructure across the country, the government has launched Digital India.

Hundreds of Korean companies are operating in India, including Hyundai Motor.

However, there is still a lot of scope for improvement, Modi said.

South Korea ranks only 14th in FDI flows in India.

"I can admit that the reason for this low volume of FDI lies with us not with you. But I can tell you that India was and is a land of potentials.

"Now, India is also a land of enabling policy environment. Moreover, there is renewed commitment of my Government for changing the face of the country. We can join hands in the mutual benefit of our people and industry. There is a lot that we can do together," the Prime Minister said.

Modi said since his government has taken over, it is working day and night to create conditions for faster and inclusive growth.

"We want a quantum jump in all this. There is no time for incremental changes. The sectors which are strong in Korea are very important for the development of my country. Many of you are already present in India. For those who are not there, I extend an invitation to come to India and explore the opportunities," he said.

The Prime Minister outlined the steps taken by his government, which include fast tracking of approvals in industry and infrastructure, and liberalisation of FDI.

He further said that India was keen to modernise its railways, planning metro rail in 50 cities and high speed trains in various corridors. Also, the country has to upgrade its highways.

"This year we have made maximum allocation for these two sectors. In addition we have opened up railways for 100 per cent FDI," Modi said.

He also informed the CEOs that India was putting up new ports and modernising the old ones through an ambitious plan called 'Sagarmala'.

There is a similar focus on upgrading the existing airports and putting up regional airports to enhance connectivity to places of economic and tourist importance.

Stressing that there is a lot the two nations can do together, Modi cited several possible opportunities, including the potential for cooperation between India's software and Korea's hardware industry.

He also said that from IT and electronics to automobile and steel, Korea has given exemplary products to the world. Similarly, Korean companies are very strong in construction sector. Also Koreans have an impressive infrastructure and record for R & D as well as innovation.

"We in India want to achieve a lot of what Korea has already done. That is why I, along with a large business delegation, are here. The good news is that India-Korea bilateral trade has risen after signing of Korea-India CEPA in January 2010," Modi said.

Recalling that India and Korea have had cordial relations from the ancient past, Modi said: "Friends! I am here to build upon this relationship".

"I came here when I was chief minister of Gujarat and even before that. Honestly speaking, while in Gujarat, I used to wonder as to how a country of the size of Gujarat can do so much economic progress.

"I admire the spirit of entrepreneurship of the Korean people. I admire the way in which they have created and sustained their global brands," he said.

Read | In South Korea, PM Narendra Modi says now it's time to 'Act East'

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