Abu Dhabi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday that there is an immediate investment opportunity of $1 trillion in India.
Addressing an investors meet in Masdar City, a zero-carbon city, PM Modi said his government has got some problems in legacy and his immediate priority would be to kickstart the things which were stalled by the “indecisiveness and lethargy” of the past governments.
Modi also said that though there are 700 flights between India and the UAE but it took 34 years for an Indian Prime Minister to visit, adding: “I promise this will not happen again.”
Indira Gandhi was the last Prime Minister to visit UAE in 1981.
The Prime Minister said all major global institutions such as IMF, World Bank and Moody’s agree that India is the world’s fastest growing economy and it has huge development potential.
“On one hand India is growing fast and on the other hand, the world is looking at Asia. But is Asia complete without UAE? I can clearly see that the UAE should be at the centre of mainstream of things in Asia. UAE’s power and India’s potential can make it Asia’s century,” he said.
Modi said he has been told about some problems being faced by investors from the UAE and he wants to assure them that the government is solving those problems.
“I will send my commerce minister to try and find solutions to the problems faced by some UAE investors,” he said.
The investors told the Prime Minister that they need steps like single window clearance and cited cumbersome and complex processes for doing business in India. To this, Modi assured that these problems will be resolved.
In their meeting with the Prime Minister, the businessmen also said that the government needs to be a strategic partner to create a conducive business environment for the investors who need safety of their investments.
The issue assumes significance as a number of investors, including some from the Middle-East region, have in the past faced problems due to taxation and policy related issues. He said in India’s agriculture sector, “we need cold storage network and warehousing network where UAE businesses have an advantage”.
“Infrastructure development and real estate offer tremendous opportunities for UAE businesses in India,” he added.
Top corporate honchos attended the meet.
“A Who’s Who of UAE Business. UAE and Indian industrialists come together to meet PM @narendramodi,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
Among them were Etisalat CEO Ahmed Abdulkarim Julfar and Emaar Properties chairperson Mohammed Ali Al Abbar.
Earlier, Modi undertook a tour of Masdar City, a hub of clean technology.
Modi also travelled briefly on the PRT (Personnel Rapid Transit) car – a driver-less vehicle which runs from point to point on magnetic strips.
He also visited the Micro-Nano Fabrication Facility and the Microscopy Lab. The Prime Minister also took a brief walking tour of the city’s public spaces and was briefed on the sustainable building methodology and key architectural elements.
Throughout the hour-long tour of Masdar City, Modi was greeted by residents and professionals in the city, which include a large number of members from the Indian community.
“Vigyan Jeevan Hai” he wrote, as he signed on a Digital Visitor’s Book at Masdar City.