New Delhi: Promising more reforms to further improve the ease of doing business, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited investments from Israeli companies saying the country has a huge development agenda and offers vast opportunities.
Speaking at India-Israel Business Summit in New Delhi, PM Modi referred to the further opening up of the single brand retail to foreign investment recently as also allowing foreign airlines to buy stake in national carrier Air India, saying that substantial reforms have been undertaken by his government.
“India’s development agenda is huge. It presents a vast economic opportunity for Israeli companies. I invite more and more Israeli people, businesses and companies to come and work in India,” he said while promising all support to them.
In the presence of visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, PM Modi said, “We want to do more and do better” to improve ease of doing business in the country.
The role of business and industry is crucial in the transformation of ties between the two countries, he added.
“It is your combined efforts that will add real value to our interaction and produce concrete successes. Given the scale of the Indian economy and the relevance of cutting-edge Israeli technologies for us, even sky is not the limit for what we may achieve together,” he said.
PM Modi also said that despite deep structural reforms being carried out, India is among the fastest growing major economies.
“FDI inflows are at an all-time high, with 40 per cent rise. Tremendous work is being done to skill and employ the youth. 65 per cent of our population is below 35 years of age and is hungry for technology-enabled growth,” he said.
PM Modi said India has emerged as the sixth largest manufacturing nation, “but we are not done yet. We are positioning India as a global manufacturing hub leveraging the energy of our youth”.
The ‘Make in India’ initiative, he added, is designed to help achieve this.
“Through these initiatives, combined with the new ecosystem of a formal economy and a unified tax regime, we are trying to create a New India,” PM Modi said.
He further said the just launched India-Israel Innovation Bridge will act as a link between the start-ups of the two nations.
“I have been saying that Indian industries, start-ups and the academic institutions must collaborate with their Israeli counterparts to access the huge reservoir of knowledge,” he said.
In his speech, Netanyahu stressed on the importance of technology in sectors like agriculture and water management.
He also talked about increasing cooperation in health sector as well as startups.
“I believe in India because I know your heritage, your culture, your creativity, your humanity… I came here to say Prime Minister Mr Modi, thank you for believing in Israel the way we believe in India,” he said.
Both leaders launched the maiden call for joint R&D projects under the ‘India-Israel Industrial R&D and Technological Innovation Fund (I4F)’.
The ‘I4Fund Call for Proposal’ was announced with the joint launch of the website and the unveiling of the brochure by the two Prime Ministers.
India and Israel will make a contribution of USD 4 million each for the Fund annually, for five years.