The ‘Make in India’ (MII) Week, touted as the largest business expo hosted by the country, was inaugurated in Mumbai by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday, Feb 13, in the presence of heads of state, a battery of business leaders and foreign delegates.
PM Modi was accompanied by the prime ministers of Sweden and Finland, and the Polish deputy PM.
Over 2,500 international and 8,000 domestic companies are participating in the multi-sectoral industrial event, which is being attended by foreign government delegations from 68 countries and business teams from 72 nations.
The event is aimed at attracting investments into the manufacturing sector and showcasing success stories at a specially-created venue at the BKC business district in Central Mumbai.
After inaugurating the mega event, the Prime Minister took a tour of the pavilions, with his Swedish and Finnish counterparts and visiting ministers in tow.
Promising stable and predictable tax regime, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said this was the best time to invest in India as the government carries reforms including setting up a company law tribunal and effective IPR regime.
“We have carried out a number of corrections on the taxation front. We have said that we will not resort to retrospective taxation. And I repeat this commitment once again. We are also swiftly working towards making our tax regime transparent, stable and predictable,” said Modi.
Detailing the initiatives of government to boost manufacturing, he said steps have been taken to simplify processes and rationalise provisions regarding licences, security and environment clearances.
“I have been saying that this century is Asia’s century. My advice to you is to Make India your center; if you want this century to be your century. I invite everyone sitting here and also those not here, to be a part of India’s unfolding story,” he said.
Modi said that India is probably the most open country for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), which has increased by 48 per cent since the BJP government came to power in May 2014.
He further said that results of the initiatives were manifesting themselves as India has become the fastest growing large economy in the world.
The growth in India would be well above 7 per cent, he said, adding leading institutions like IMF, World Bank, ADB and OECD have projected a better growth in the coming years.
Listing the investment opportunities, Modi said that metro rail network is being set up in 50 cities and government is engaged in developing infrastructure in a big way in areas like roads, ports and rail.
“With this background, I invite and encourage you to make India your work place; and also your home,” he added.
“I can’t speculate on the number of memoranda of understanding that will be signed, but this is a brilliant start. All our partners are very enthusiastic,” Union Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters later outside the main venue since the inaugural ceremony was off-limits for the media despite pre-issued passes.
“India never had this kind of participation from across the world. FDI has grown by 48 per cent in recent months and it will continue to grow in future,” Amitabh Kant, Secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, which is organising the jamboree, said outside the MMRDA Grounds.
Bhaskar Bhatt of Titan, the country’s largest watch maker, said the visit of the Prime Minister to their stall was “very encouraging” and added that “this is a great country to invest as we have plenty of skilled manpower, technology and a large consuming class”.
The Prime Minister also visited the stalls of Tata Steel, ABB, Siemens and Sonalika, among others.