NEW DELHI/DAVOS: Citing India's commitment to deep economic reforms and ease of doing business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi asserted on Monday that this is the best time to invest in the country as policy-making is focussed on the needs for the next 25 years for a 'clean and green' as well as 'sustainable and reliable' growth period.
In his special address to the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda 2022 summit, Modi underlined a host of reform measures undertaken by his government to stress that it has worked to reduce the administration's interference in business by deregulating many sectors and to clear the way for free trade agreements with different countries.
India was once associated with "license raaj", he noted and highlighted the measures, including reduction of corporate tax to boost business and doing away with over 25,000 compliance requirements.
He also mentioned about new challenges, including crypto currencies, facing the world and said they call for different countries to respond together as measures by any one country may be inadequate.
Inflation, climate change and supply chain disruptions were the other challenges cited by the prime minister.
Wondering if various multilateral forums are prepared or have the strength to deal with new challenges in the emerging world order, Modi pushed for reforms in them and said this is every democratic country's responsibility so that these organisations are competent to deal with present and future needs.
The prime minister emphasised the need to adapt as per the changing realities of the world order.
On crypto currency, he said the related technologies and their challenges do not lend themselves to the decisions of any single country and therefore there was a need to be on one page on the same.
The prime minister said India is committed to becoming a reliable partner in the global supply chain and highlighted its export to many countries of medicines and COVID vaccines as part of its "One Earth, One Health" vision that saved millions of lives.
India is today the world's third largest pharma producer and pharmacy to the world, he said.
Highlighting India's democratic credentials, Modi said the country has given the world the beautiful gift of "bouquet of hope" which includes technologies to empower the 21st century, Indians' unbreakable trust in democracy, their temperament and technology.
The fact is that India is a multilingual and multicultural country that has adapted to work for the welfare of entire humanity and just not for itself, he said.
India is sending record number of software engineers across the world while over 50 lakh software developers are working in the country, the prime minister said and noted that its IT sector worked round the clock during the coronavirus pandemic to help the world.
Highlighting the growth in the emerging business sectors in India, Modi said it has globally third largest number of unicorns with over 10,000 startups being registered in the last six months alone.
Entrepreneurship among Indian youngsters has soared to a new high, and Indians ability to adapt to new technologies and innovation can infuse new energy into the country's global partnership, he emphasised.
India has been fighting another COVID wave with full alertness and caution while maintaining economic growth, he said and asserted that the country is brimming with the self-confidence of administering over 160 crore doses of vaccines to its population.
Today India is making policies and taking decisions regarding the present as well as the goals for the next 25 years.
In this period, India has set the goals of high growth, saturation of welfare and wellness, Modi emphasised.
"This period of growth will also be green, it will also be clean, it will also be sustainable, it will also be reliable," he said.
Further, he said that India is focused on reforms in the right direction and the global economic experts have praised India's decisions.
"We will fulfil all the expectations that the entire world has from us," he said.
Indicating India's growing attractiveness as a partner, Modi said India is also making way for free trade agreements with many countries and the country's capabilities in innovation, technology adaptation and entrepreneurship spirit make India an ideal global partner.
"This why, this is the best time to invest in India," he said.
Underlining India's confident approach, the prime minister highlighted that when the world was focussing on interventions like quantitative easing during the coronavirus pandemic period, India was strengthening the reforms.
He told the Forum that not only India is focussing on easing the processes in its quest for self-reliance, it is also incentivising investment and production.
Modi said lifestyle issues are also posing challenges to the climate and the situation has got further complicated by a 'throw away culture' and consumerism and called for transforming today's 'take-make-use-dispose economy' into a circular economy.
He said 'LIFE' or 'Lifestyle for Environment' is a vision of resilient and sustainable lifestyle that will come handy in dealing with the climate crisis and other unpredictable challenges of the future, as he listed the country's record in achieving the climate target well in advance of the target dates.
The prime minister also called for making 'Mission LIFE' into a global mass movement and said it can be done with P-3, which he described as 'Pro Planet People'.
According to CII, the Prime Minister's emphasis on a green, clean and sustainable growth process is reassuring for India's future growth.
FICCI said that India's attractiveness amongst global investors is expected to get a further boost with continued commitment of the government towards reforms, ease of doing business and approach towards higher growth and prosperity over the next 25 years.
"Industry completely supports India's commitment towards clean, green, sustainable and reliable energy and will work with the government in accomplishing the net zero targets by 2070," it said.
Economic recovery fragile; Low-income countries in disadvantageous position: UN chief
Asserting that the world economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is very fragile and uneven, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday said the global financial system has failed the low-income countries when they needed it the most.
He also said that rather than indulging in 'blame and shame' in meeting emission targets, there is a need to assist the emerging countries in the transition for the global good.
He appreciated India's acceptance of several bilateral forms of support and hoped that the developed countries will help India achieve its target, including on solar energy.
In a special address at the World Economic Forum's online Davos Agenda 2022 summit, Guterres said the low-income countries have a huge disadvantage, while rising food prices are hitting the recovery very badly especially in low to middle-income nations.
"Global financial system has failed them when they needed it the most and a global solidarity is lacking," he said.
"The world is recovering from the pandemic, but the recovery is still fragile. Vaccination rates in some countries is seven times higher than the same in African nations," he said.
He said the economic recovery is slowing down quite substantially and the reasons include geopolitical divides, persisting labour market issues, debt traps and a lingering pandemic.
"In the last two years, we all have learnt a simple truth -- If we leave anyone behind, we leave everyone behind," he said while emphasising the importance of a fully-inclusive recovery from the pandemic.
Without an immediate action to support the developing countries, inequality and poverty will deepen and that would result in social unrest and more violence.
"The world is marching down a path laden with risk. We cannot afford this instability," he said.
Guterres posed three 'asks' to global leaders to support developing world and sidestep greater global challenges: drive equity and fairness; reform the global financial system; and support real climate action.