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Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019

India is ‘most open’ economy, says PM Modi

PM Modi called on the Brics members to participate in India’s efforts to become a $5-trillion economy by 2024, with investments of $1.5-trillion in the infrastructure sector alone.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2019 00:09 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Plenary session of the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia on Thursday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing the Plenary session of the 11th BRICS Summit in Brasilia on Thursday.(Photo: ANI)
         

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pitched India as the “most open and investment-friendly economy” even as he called on members of Brics to make the grouping’s mechanisms more efficient and outcome-driven to drive economic growth.

Modi, who on Thursday concluded a visit to Brasilia to attend the Brics (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Summit, told the grouping’s business forum that India is the world’s most investment-friendly economy because of political stability, predictable policy and business-friendly reforms.

He called on the Brics members to participate in India’s efforts to become a $5-trillion economy by 2024, with investments of $1.5-trillion in the infrastructure sector alone.

Addressing the plenary session of the summit, Modi said Brics’ mechanisms and processes must be made more efficient and outcome-driven to meet challenges of the global economy. “We need to pay special attention to mutual trade and investment. Intra-Brics trade accounts for just 15% of world trade, while our combined population is more than 40% of the world’s population,” he said.

The services sector has good prospects to grow and the cost of intra-Brics trade should be reduced. Medical devices, new energy options and innovations for the differently-abled and elderly can be priority areas for cooperation, he added.

Calling for enhanced cooperation to tackle climate change, Modi said sustainable water management and sanitation are important challenges in urban areas. He added that India would host the first meeting of Brics water ministers.

Modi also said terrorism is the biggest threat to development and peace.

“In 10 years, two-and-a-half million lives were lost to terrorism (and) according to various estimates, more than $1 trillion was lost to the world’s economy,” he said.

Terrorism and its financing, drug trafficking and organised crimes create deep indirect harm to businesses by creating an environment of scepticism, and the activities of five working groups will enhance security cooperation within Brics, he said.

The Brasilia Declaration adopted at the summit extended support to India’s efforts to counter terrorism by condemning the menace in all its forms. It said terrorist acts are “criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivations whenever, wherever and by whomsoever committed”.

The declaration called for concerted efforts to fight against terrorism under UN auspices in accordance with international law and underlined the responsibility of all states to prevent the financing of terror networks and “terrorist actions, including those from their territories”.

The Brics members reiterated their commitment to combat illicit financial flows and to cooperate within the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and FATF-style regional bodies and in other multilateral, regional and bilateral forums.