‘This is the moment’ to invest in India, PM Modi woos US investors

Washington:  In a strong pitch to US entrepreneurs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “this is the moment” to invest in India as governments of both countries have done the groundwork for businesses and companies to take advantage of the opportunity and to “play and proposer”.

Addressing business leaders and philanthropists from India and the US as well as other prominent members of the Indian-American community at the Kennedy Centre here on Friday, he stressed that the India-US partnership is not of convenience but one of conviction, shared commitments and compassion.

Highlighted the profound transformation currently underway in India and the strides being made in various sectors, the prime minister invited the professionals to forge partnerships with India.

“In Washington DC, had an engaging interaction with leading professionals across various fields. Glad that @SecBlinken also joined the programme. Highlighted the vast opportunities India offers. Reiterated how this is THE moment to invest in India’s growth story,” Modi tweeted.

Modi said that in the last three days of his state visit to the US, several historic steps have been taken to further strengthen bilateral ties.

From defence to aviation, applied materials to manufacturing, and the IT and space sectors, India and the US are now moving forward as most reliable partners, Prime Minister Modi said at the event organised by the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

The event was attended by around 1,000 leading professionals hailing from diverse fields, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.

Modi urged the business community to step forward and take full advantage of this opportunity.

Every development project of India has the capacity to further strengthen the American dream, Modi said, citing that India was investing a record USD 125 billion in infrastructure development.

In India’s growth story, there are unlimited opportunities for America and for the country’s corporate community, he said.

“For you, it is the time to take the first and fast mover advantage,” the Indian prime minister said amid a round of applause from the audience.

Modi said in the past three days, he and President Joe Biden spent a lot of time discussing several historic issues.

In their meetings, the two leaders had concrete discussions over the future of India-US relations and have decided to follow a clear strategy ahead.

The India-US technological handshake meeting in the White House sent a message to companies, businesses, manufacturers and innovators that “this is the moment”, he said, adding, “The governments of India and the US have done the groundwork for you.”

“Now you have the responsibility to play and proposer on this ground. The one who plays will prosper,” Modi said.

Asserting that whenever India has become strong, the world has benefited, the prime minister said this was seen during the Covid pandemic that when the world needed medicines, India increased its production and provided medicines.

He also said the basis of India’s success and its development’s biggest driving force is the aspiration of its people.

In the last two and two and a half years, US companies have invested more than USD 16 billion in India, Modi noted.

India is the world’s youngest nation and it has the world’s biggest youth talent pool and skilled and professional force, the prime minister said and asserted that whichever country joins India at this time, it is bound to benefit.

“We are keeping the fiscal deficit in check and continuously increasing our Capex. Our export is increasing, our forex is increasing, and new records are being created in FDI,” Modi said.

The event was also addressed by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum President and CEO Mukesh Aghi, and Chairman Emeritus at Cisco and founder of JC2 Ventures John Chambers.

Blinken said President Biden often likes to say that America can be defined by a single word: possibilities.

These past few days have underscored how that spirit of possibility defines the US-India relationship, he said.

“Our governments will continue to do our part. But I’m asking all of you in this room to continue to do yours. Forge new ventures and partnerships, invent game-changing products and services, create unimagined opportunities, visit friends and family in India and host them here in the United States.

“Continue to be that engine powering our progress. If we do all that, I truly believe that the US and India will shape together a more peaceful, more prosperous and a more connected future,” he said.

The US Secretary of State said that half a century or 100 years ago the answer to the question of what constitutes the wealth of a nation would probably have been the size of its landmass, its population, the strength of its military and its abundance of raw materials.

“All those things remain important. But I think what the United States and India recognise together is that in this 21st century, the true wealth of our nation is our people and our ability to maximise their potential is what sets us apart,” Bliken added.