Making India: Indian PM Modi Invites ASEAN Nations To Invest In India – OpEd


Speaking at the ASEAN summit in Malaysia, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on November 21 called India and ASEAN natural partners, whose relationship goes back to ‘ancient times’. Modi is in Malaysia for the ASEAN summit and in his speech he emphasized on India’s economic growth, strong fundamentals, regular reforms and a welcoming environment setting the premises for asking investors to look at India.

Foreign investments have been going on for years, but PM Modi has popularized the subject vigorously as he tours the world ever since assumed power. However, India is yet to release the details of amounts of FDI that have come to India during his tenure. Perhaps government of India would come out soon with details to encourage more foreign investments to flow in. There can be no secrecy in this regard.

At the ASEAN Summit, PM Narendra Modi asked the global investment community to invest in India and draw comfort from its fast economic growth, strong fundamentals, continuous reforms and a welcoming environment. “By almost every major economic indicator India’s doing better than when we took office 18 months ago,” Modi said. Modi asked the business community in the ASEAN region to see the winds of change in India and promised them the full cooperation.

ASEAN is India’s fourth largest trading partner and India is the sixth largest trading partner for the ten member group. Modi said India and ASEAN are natural partners. “Our ties date back to ancient times.” Reform for me is just a way-station on the long journey to the destination. The destination is the transformation of India,” added Modi, “The GDP growth is up and inflation is down. Foreign investment is up and the CAD is down. Tax revenues are up and interest rates are down.”

The 21st century belongs to Asia. Together, ASEAN’s ten member countries form an economic powerhouse. ASEAN has emerged as one of the largest economic zones in the world. Last fifteen years have seen your rapid and yet stable growth. Macro-economic stability has been the main reason for growth and stability in South East Asia. Asserting that the time had come for India to make its mark in the resurgence of Asia, Modi called the world leaders to come to India and witness the ‘winds of change’ as he pitched his ‘Make in India’ initiative on the global forum. With good governance, futuristic infrastructure and focus on new age technologies

PM Modi provided reasons to justify his call for foreign investments in India. “We have ended retrospective taxation; stay committed to provide transparent and predictable tax regime. I want to assure you that India is committed to protect IP Rights of innovators. A National IPR policy is expected by end of the year. Most ASEAN economies have done their bit for Asia’s resurgence. Now, it is India’s turn. We know that our time has come. “I invite you to come and see the winds of change in India. Winds do take time to cross the borders. That is why I am here to invite you. We have launched a ‘Housing for All’ program. It involves building 20 million urban houses and 29.5 million rural houses. Our major ports witnessed 4.65% growth in traffic and 11.2% increase in operating income in 14-15 despite a global contraction in trade.”

Modi said India is a land of immense opportunities. “To give you some examples: our fifty cities are ready for putting up Metro Rail Systems. We have to build 50 million affordable houses. The requirement of road, rail and waterways is enormous. We have decided to go for renewable energy in a big way – 175 GW. Most of the ASEAN economies have done their bit for Asia’s resurgence”.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang on the sidelines of ASEAN-India summit, during which the two leaders discussed bilateral ties and global issues of mutual concern.

Meanwhile, in an embarrassment for India, the tricolor was seen hoisted upside down during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s photo-op with Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe before bilateral talks on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit. The national flag was in the background of Prime Minister Modi and Abe’s customary handshake at the Summit and was hoisted on a stand next to that of Japan. The flag is seen with the green at the top and the saffron below as the two leaders met for the second bilateral on the sidelines of 13th ASEAN-India Summit here. “It was an inadvertent mistake in the rush of things. It was unfortunate,” official sources requesting anonymity told PTI. India has deliberately kept rhw green color down in the flag, while saffron on top. Green on top in the flag cannot be tolerated by many Indians because they see green as exclusive color of Pakistan or Islam.

PM Modi will be addressing the Indian Diaspora there on Sunday, inviting them to invest in India in a big way, making India shine. It is known that the growth of Indian economy owes mainly to money it gets from Indians working in Arab nations.

Though his BJP party was crushed badly in Bihar poll held recently, PM Modi looked to be in his usual good spirits at the ASEAN summit.

Perhaps, that is indeed the strength of India.

Dr. Abdul Ruff

Dr. Abdul Ruff is a columnist contributing articles to many newspapers and journals on world politics. He is an expert on Mideast affairs, as well as a chronicler of foreign occupations and freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.). Dr. Ruff is a specialist on state terrorism, the Chancellor-Founder of Center for International Affairs (CIA), commentator on world affairs and sport fixings, and a former university teacher. He is the author of various eBooks/books and editor for INTERNATIONAL OPINION and editor for FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Palestine Times.

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