New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday promised to protect and promote investments as he sought foreign funds to boost growth, saying that India is a free destination for enterprise and ready for business.
Speaking at the India-Korea Business Summit organised jointly by CII and DIPP, he said his government has worked towards creating a stable business environment and removed arbitrariness in decision-making.
"India is now ready for business. India is now a free destination for enterprise. You will not find such a free and growing market anywhere in the world," he said.
In FDI, the Asia's third largest economy is one of the most open countries with most sectors open for foreign investment and more than 90 per cent approvals put on automatic route.
"There is practically no requirement of government approval for investments in manufacturing sector except for Defence sector," he said. "I further assure you that whatever is required to promote and protect your investments will be done here."
Modi said his government has "worked towards creating a stable business environment, ensuring the rule of law, and removing arbitrariness in decision making".
To the Korean business, he said India values their involvement and contribution to the economy. "At a personal level too, I assure you of my full support whenever required."
The Prime Minister said the government has moved towards a low tax regime on corporate side.
"We are already the third-largest economy by purchasing power. Very soon, we will become the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP. We are also the fastest growing major economy of the world today," he said. "There are very few countries where you have three important factors of economy together. They are: Democracy, Demography and Demand. In India, we have all the three together."
The government's vision is to create a globally competitive industry and services base equipped with skill, speed and scale.
"Therefore, we are continuously working to improve our investment climate. We particularly want to promote manufacturing in a big way to create jobs for our youth," he said and went on to refer to the 'Make in India' initiative.
India, he said, is committed to adoption of better environmental technologies.
Listing reforms that had made it easier to do business in the country, Modi said incorporating a company along with allotment of statutory numbers is now just a one day affair.
Besides, he said, thousands of reforms on the business, investment, governance and cross border trading front have been carried out including the historic rollout of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
"We have entirely abolished more than 1,400 old laws and Acts which were only complicating governance," he said. "Such measures have propelled our economy into a high growth trajectory."
FDI inflows have grown the most in the last three years while India has climbed on Ease of Doing Business ranking, Logistics Performance Index and the Global Competitiveness Index.
"Ours is a globally cost competitive manufacturing eco-system. We have a vast pool of skilled professionals with knowledge and energy. Now, we have a world class engineering education base and strong R&D facilities," he said, adding that the validity period of industrial licences has been increased from three years to 15 years and more.
Also, the Industrial licensing regime for defence production has been liberalised greatly, with nearly 65-70 per cent of the items previously under licensing can now be produced without a license.
"We have said that factory inspections will only be need-based and only on authorisation of the higher authority," he said.
To the Korean business, Modi said there exists potential for cooperation in software and IT industry, automobiles, steel and ship-building and ports.
"Housing, smart cities, railway stations, water, transportation, railways, sea ports, energy including renewables, IT infrastructure and services, electronics, are all very promising sectors in my country," he said. "India and Korea are major economies in the region. Our partnership has immense potential to promote regional growth, development, stability and prosperity in Asia."
Both stand to gain by deepening their partnership, he said, adding that India a huge and emerging market and can be a bridge for Korean business to penetrate the Middle East and African markets.