New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited US firms to invest in different sectors in India, ranging from healthcare to civil aviation to defence, as he called the country “a land of opportunities.”

Delivering his keynote address at the India Ideas Summit, PM Modi told US investors that India offers perfect combination of "openness, opportunities and options." He also said that even during the COVID times, when the global economies have gone for a toss, New Delhi attracted foreign investment of over USD 20 billion.

"Today, there is global optimist towards India. This is because India offers a perfect combination of openness, opportunities and technologies. India celebrates openness in people and in governance. Open minds make open market and open markets lead to greater prosperity," said PM Modi. 

He said the coronavirus pandemic has showed the importance of economic resilience, which can be achieved by stronger domestic economic capacities.   

"This means improved domestic capacity for manufacturing, restoring the health of the financial system and diversification of international trade," he added.

"India is emerging as a land of opportunities. Let me give you one example of the tech sector. Recently, an interesting report came out in India. It said for the first time ever, there are more rural internet users than even urban internet users," he said.   

Stating that open markets mean more opportunities, PM Modi said during the last six years the government has made many efforts to make the Indian economy more open and reform oriented.

Reforms have ensured increased competitiveness, transparency, digitisation, innovation and policy stability, the Prime Minister said. 

He also highlighted India's contribution in moving towards a resilient world with 'Atmanirbhar Bharat' while pitching for investment by US firms to boost the initiative. PM Modi also announced Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative in May this year to make India self-reliant and reduce overall dependence on imports.

"India is contributing towards a prosperous and resilient world through the clarion call of an 'Atmanirbhar Bharat'. And, for that, we await your partnership," the prime minister said.  

Here is how PM Modi pitched for investment by US firms in various sectors: 

Healthcare: India invites you to invest in healthcare. The Healthcare sector in India is growing faster than 22 percent every year. Our companies are also progressing in production of medical-technology, telemedicine and diagnostics.

Civil Aviation: Civil Aviation is another area of great potential growth. The number of Air passengers are expected to more than double within next eight years. The top private Indian airlines plan to include over a thousand new aircraft over the coming decade.

Defence and Space: India invites you to invest in defence and space. We are raising the FDI cap for investment in defense sector to 74 per cent. India has established two defence corridors to encourage production of defence equipment and platforms. 

Finance and Insurance: India invites you to invest in finance and insurance. India has raised FDI cap for investment in insurance to 49 per cent. Now 100 per cent FDI is permitted for investment in insurance intermediaries.

Energy: When the markets are open, when the opportunity is high and the options are many, can optimism be far behind! You can see the optimism when India rises in key business ratings. Particularly the Ease of Doing Business ratings of the World Bank.

A message to China? 

The strong pitch for foreign investment from the United States comes as an indirect message to China amid the ongoing border row with the neighbouring country. Following the Galwan Valley clash where 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives, New Delhi has stepped up an economic offensive against Beijing. 

The rising sentiment for boycotting Chinese products and relying more and more on Made in India products is something that will eventually lead to a decline in Chinese investment in the country and also send a clear message to the neighbouring country against its preferential treatment on cross-border trade.

Meanwhile, the Trump administration, which has been blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic, has also stepped up its offensive against Beijing, curtailing its financial activities in the United States.    

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta