Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday invited major global investors to be part of India’s growth story, saying the country has systems and companies with high environmental, social, and governance (ESG) score.
The PM said his government wants India’s economy to be a large contributor to global growth. “A strong and vibrant India can contribute to the stabilisation of the world economic order. We will do whatever it takes to make India the engine of global growth resurgence,” PM Modi said following the Virtual Global Investor Roundtable 2020. Major global investors, including pension funds and sovereign wealth funds across the world, took part in the conference. The PM highlighted India’s potential to attract investments in various sectors. “Today, investors are moving towards companies, which have a high ECG score, and India already has systems and companies which rank high on this. India believes in following the path of growth with equal focus on ESG,” Modi said. The conference focussed on discussions around India’s economic and investment outlook, structural reforms, and the government’s vision for making the country a $5-trillion economy. During the dialogue, sources said, investors showed confidence in the Indian economy and the intent to invest in long-term assets. They, however, raised issues regarding the enforceability of infrastructure contracts and the cost and time incurred. Investors learnt to have asked for a dispute resolution mechanism to deal with matters related to infra contracts. “The ministries concerned were asked to compile all the complaints and issues of foreign investors received in the past six years. The PM wants each of them to be reviewed and addressed in the next two weeks when he will have one-on-one interactions with each investor,” said a government official. To attract long-term investment, the PM talked of four Ds — democracy, demography, demand, and diversity. He said “such is India’s diversity that you get multiple markets within one market”. These come with multiple pocket sizes, preferences, and levels of development. To address the issues of the top global honchos, India is being represented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Reserve Bank of India Governor Shaktikanta Das, top business leaders, regulators, and senior bureaucrats. Global institutional investors representatives from the US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Singapore, and Middle-East, among others, participated in the conference. Some of the prominent global fund houses that took part in the event are AustralianSuper, British Columbia Investment Management Corp, CDPQ, CCP Investment, Future Fund, GIC, Temasek, and US International Development Finance Corporation, among others. The PM cited recent agricultural reforms, saying these measures opened up new exciting possibilities to partner with the farmers of India. With the help of technology and modern processing solutions, India will soon emerge as an agriculture export hub, he said. He told the investors that India fits in all parameters to be a preferred nation for them. “If you want returns with reliability, India is the place to be. If you want demand with democracy, India is the place to be. If you want stability with sustainability, India is the place to be. If you want growth with a green approach, India is the place to be,” the PM said. On the global pandemic, the prime minister praised the Indians' traits. “We are known for a sense of responsibility, a spirit of compassion, national unity, and the spark of innovation.” “India has shown remarkable resilience in this pandemic, be it fighting the virus or ensuring economic stability,” he said. This resilience, Modi said, is driven by the strength of systems, support of people and stability of policies. The PM said India’s bid to become Aatmanirbhar was not just a vision but a well-planned economic strategy. “We aim to use the capabilities of our businesses and skills of our workers to make India a global manufacturing powerhouse,” he said.