Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave the mantra of ‘Reform, Perform, Transform’ to pitch investment opportunities in the country during the opening keynote address at the plenary session of the 48th World Economic Forum (WEF) today at Davos in Switzerland.
Speaking in chaste Hindi, Prime Minister Modi showcased ease of doing business in India to world leaders and global CEOs.
Modi listed a slew of measures undertaken by the Indian government including the push to digital transactions and the initiative to expand financial inclusion by opening bank accounts under the Jan Dhan Yojana.
Pledging to get rid of red-tapism and roll out a red carpet instead, Modi underlined the various decisions undertaken by the government like roll out of GST, opening up for FDI and doing away with 1,400 'archaic' laws.
He said, “Investing in India, traveling to India, manufacturing in India and exporting your products and services to all over the world has become much more easier compared to earlier times.”
Earlier, the Prime Minister listed three issues — climate change, terrorism and protectionism — as the challenges for human civilisation.
Expressing concern over the melting of Arctic glaciers, he accentuated the need to think about what can be done to mitigate climate change.
He said "India has always believed in values of integration and unity," stating that amid fast moving economic and political changes in the world, "peace, stability and security face new and serious challenges."
Speaking on the issue of terrorism, Modi said, “Terrorism is dangerous. Worse is when people say there is a difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ terror. It is painful to see some youngsters getting radicalised.”
Prime Minister then went on to elaborate his views on how protectionism has taken over globalisation which has affected cross-border commerce and global supply chains.
He started his speech by drawing a parallel to 1997, the last time an Indian prime minister had attended the WEF summit. Touching upon a wide range of topics like Google, Harry Potter, the currency Euro, Asian financial crisis and Brexit, which did not exist back then, he stressed that the world has come a long way in the last two decades.
He said that India's GDP has swelled six times from USD400 billion in 1997.
Modi’s speech culminated with one of his trademark alliterations as he presented India to the world saying, “If you want wellness with wealth, come to India. If you want health and wholeness of life, come to India. If you want prosperity and peace, come to India. You are always welcome.”
The session was hosted by Chairman of WEF, Klaus Schwab. While introducing Modi, Schwab said that the prime minister's presence has special significance adding that, “India presents a bright image of dynamism, optimism and commerce.”