RIYADH: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to create a new India with new capabilities that will improve the lives of “every single Indian”, while bringing political stability and large investment.
Prime Minister Modi also underlined his government’s resolve to double India’s economy to $5 trillion in the next five years.
Speaking at the opening day of the Future Investment Initiative 2019 (FII 2019) conference in Riyadh, to an audience that included Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he also said India would “work hand in hand with Saudi Arabia on the Vision 2030 plan.
“There will be a new India with new capabilities and prospects with peace and joy not only for us but the entire world,” he said.
Modi told the audience that the sands of Saudi Arabia had been turned into gold for future generations.
He praised the bond the Kingdom has with India, describing their friendship as the “best”.
With AI, he said they had surpassed the research stages and were now looking to innovate technology so it could be used in daily life situations.
Start-ups, Modi said, were seeing a particular backing, with many of these investing globally in areas that included food delivery, hospitality, and tourism.
He said infrastructure was an opportunity that was essential for the growth of business.
“India has set a target of doubling its economy to $5 trillion in the next five years. Today in India, if we want to speed up development, then we have to understand the emerging trends,” Modi said.
On human resources he said international investment considerations now included criteria for employment and training workers with the skills required for the job.
“The challenge is rapid growth of skill power, to learn, unlearn and relearn cycles… Indian talent has created for itself a unique name, law abiding and hardworking.”
Air quality and pollution in India remain a serious issue in India. The air quality is already bad in many of its cities, but it worsens even more during Diwali when the excessive use of fireworks fills the air with a sickening thick smokey mist.
Modi said there needed to be compassion for the environment.
“The impact of climate change is so extensive that we cannot afford to ignore it.”
He said investment and energy were vital for the economy and he invited companies from the energy sector to become more involved.
“Saudi Arabia is looking at making investments in India potentially worth USD 100 billion in the areas of energy, refining, petrochemicals, infrastructure, agriculture, minerals and mining.”
The Prime Minister said that the Indian government had introduced major reforms to ensure clearer, fairer rules, as India became the “biggest destination for investment.”
“Today India’s tax structure is comparable with the best in the world, it is going through reforms that have enabled it to jump ranks.
He said that in the last four to five years an additional 300 million people had joined the banking system meaning that every citizen now had a phone and bank account.
And on health he said India had already taken steps, towards improving the health care of 500 billion people, making India the largest consumer of healthcare.