Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indian economy is already recovering from the coronavirus and that he expects it to play a “leading role” in the global post-pandemic recovery.
Modi made his remarks Thursday during India Global Week 2020, an expo celebrating India’s engagement with the world economy. The three-day event focused on pandemic recovery with social media posts using the hashtag #BeTheRevival.
“Indians have the spirit to achieve what is believed to be impossible. No wonder that in India, we are already seeing green shoots when it comes to economic recovery,” Modi said in the inaugural address to India Global Week 2020 audience.
“In these times, it is natural to talk about revival. It is equally natural to link global revival and India. There is faith that the story of global revival will have India playing a leading role. We are laying the red carpet for all global companies to come and establish their presence in India. Very few countries will offer the kind of opportunities India does today,” he said.
Modi said India is focused on both “people’s health” and “the health of the economy.”
“When India talks of revival, it’s revival with care, with compassion, which is sustainable both for environment and economy,” he said.
Modi said his program for India’s recovery from the coronavirus might be named “Self-Reliant India,” but that does not mean he wants India to be “self-contained” or “closed to the world.”
“It is about being self-sustaining and self-generating,” he said.
Modi was especially enthusiastic about India’s agricultural and pharmaceutical industries, presenting them as assets “not [just] for India but for the entire world.” He touted reforms that have made India more attractive to foreign investors and trade partners, including measures to make doing business in India much easier.
Modi’s sales pitch to foreign investors essentially argues that by growing more self-reliant in several key sectors, including capital for domestic startups, India will become more appealing to international companies looking for a stable business environment and high-quality workforce.
“Self-reliant” in the current context largely means “not reliant on China,” which has long been a top trading partner and provider of investment capital for India, but is now the subject of Indian boycotts as relations have deteriorated. Many of the virtues of India touted by its prime minister at the global expo were conspicuously the opposite of conditions in China, especially Modi’s praise for how “open” the Indian economy is, and how solid its supply chains are.
India Global Week 2020 is scheduled to feature 250 speakers from around the world over the next three days, offering 75 virtual sessions on various economic and social topics.