Ease of living as important as ease of business, said PM Modi in keynote address at India Ideas Summit

New Delhi:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asked US firms to invest in India, pointing to the ways the government is facilitating investors and the promising growth in various sectors including infrastructure, defence and space research. “Today, there is global optimism towards India. This is because India offers a perfect combination of openness, opportunities and options,” he said while delivering the keynote address at the India-Ideas summit.

Outlining the areas where the government seeks investment, he said, “You can see the optimism when India rises in key business ratings, particularly the Ease of Doing Business ratings of the World Bank”.

In October last year, India jumped 14 places to rank 63rd among 190 nations in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business ranking. The government has been targetting the 50th spot.

“Every year, we are reaching record highs in Foreign Direct Investment. Each year is significantly higher than the earlier one,” he said, Giving examples, he added that FDI inflow in India in 2019-20 was $74 billion. “This is an increase of 20 percent from the year before that,” he added.

The two-day virtual summit — organised by the US-India Business Council — is expected to bring together officials from the two nations who are setting the post-coronavirus recovery agenda.

Those to attend include US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, foreign minister S Jaishankar, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman, commerce and industry and railways minister Piyush Goya and government officials from the US and India.

Talking about the post-coronavirus economic situation, PM Modi said it has taught people that the global economy has been “too focused on efficiency and optimization”.

“Efficiency is a good thing. But, on the way, we forgot to focus on something equally important. That is resilience against external shocks,” PM Modi said.

This, he said, can be achieved by stronger domestic capacities for manufacturing, restoring the health of the financial system and diversification of international trade.

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