India offers $1-tn opportunity, Modi tells UAE investors

17 Aug 2015


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday told investors in the United Arab Emirates that India needed investments to the tune of a trillion dollars on an immediate basis and that the opening up almost all sectors of the economy to private investment offered a huge opportunity for Gulf investors.

Addressing businessmen in Masdar, the zero-carbon smart city, Modi said the UAE's financial prowess and India's business potential can combine to make the dream of an Asian Century a reality.

"On one hand India is growing fast and on the other hand, the world is looking at Asia. But is Asia complete without UAE? I can clearly see that the UAE should be at the centre of mainstream of things in Asia. UAE's power and India's potential can make it Asia's century," he said.

At a roundtable with business leaders at Masdar city, the prime minister made a strong pitch for investment in India, saying that an immediate potential of one trillion dollars worth of investment existed in the country.

He said India now had a decisive government with full majority, and several sectors, including insurance, railways, defence manufacturing have been opened up for foreign investment.

He touched upon renewable energy, port-led development and low-cost housing as sectors with huge investment potential.

The PM admitted that his government has inherited some legacy problems and that his immediate priority would be to kick-start the things which were left behind by the "indecisiveness and lethargy" of the past governments.

India is currently the fastest growing economy in the world, a fact that has been recognised by global institutions like the IMF and the World Bank and even critiques like Moody's, Modi said

"It is now commonly believed that India is one of the fastest growing economies. There are several opportunities of development in India. All leading institutions like IMF, World Bank and Moody's agree that India is world's fastest growing economy," he said.

Making an appeal to businessmen to invest in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi assured them that India with its 1.25 billion people is a land of many opportunities.

"125 crore people of India are not a market but they are a source of great strength," he said.

Modi said he has been told about some problems being faced by investors from the UAE and he assured them that the government is addressing those problems.

"I will send my commerce minister to try and find solutions to the problems faced by some UAE investors," he said.

Modi, who kicked off day two of his UAE trip by visiting Masdar City, a hub of cleantech and S&T innovation and interacting with a delegation of investors immediately after, will address Indians at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium where 50,000 Indian expatriates have registered for 'Marhaba Namo' - a grand public reception held for visiting Prime Minister.

The grand reception will be followed by a cultural programme featuring 35 international artistes who have been flown down especially for the event.

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Modi visited the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi and signed in the visitor's book, saying, "It (the mosque) will serve to remind generations about the extraordinary vision and leadership of the president of UAE, his highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan AL Nahyan."

He also interacted with Indian workers at the ICAD Residential Labour Camp, which houses thousands of migrant labourers from the Indian subcontinent.

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