Modi promotes India in South Africa

Marketing India as “a bright star in the global economy,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that South African business excellence and Indian capacities must leverage each other for growth and development in our two countries. He was speaking at the India-South Africa Business Meet in Pretoria.

Today, India is a bright star in the global economy, he said. “At a time of global slowdown, we have registered 7.6 per cent growth in GDP. World Bank, IMF and other institutions have projected even better growth in the coming days.”

Further, he said, in 2014-15, India contributed 12.5 per cent of global growth. “Its contribution to global growth is 68 per cent higher than its share of the world economy.”

Foreign direct investment or FDI in this year has been the highest ever, the Prime Minister said. “The ratings agency Moody’s has said that FDI inflows were all-time high in 2016, highlighting the success of our ‘Make in India’ initiative.”

He also informed the gathering about his government’s initiatives towards decontrol. “We have taken decisive steps to ease the licensing processes and rationalize the provisions relating to clearances, returns, and inspections.”

Some other indicators that should enthuse potential investors include: India has consistently been ranked as the most attractive investment destination by several global agencies and institutions. India has jumped 12 ranks in the latest global ranking by the World Bank on ease of doing business. India has also improved its UNCTAD ranking, from 15th to 9th, of investment attractiveness. India has also jumped 16 places on the World Economic Forum’s global competitive index.

Modi also informed the businessmen about “an innovative Start-up India programme has also been launched to incubate ideas and develop them into enterprises.”

On the same day India he addressed the Indian diaspora in Johannesburg. The government is working in a campaign mode to create 500 million new jobs by 2022 and transform rural and urban areas of the country through infrastructure development.

Modi said that it was in South Africa that Mahatma Gandhi “conceptualized his politics” and is the “birthplace of Satyagraha,” the country that “transformed Mohandas into Mahatma.”

He called the Indian diaspora in South Africa as “proud sons and daughters of Indian heritage,” many of whom went to jail with Nelson Mandela.