Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday told an audience at the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York that his government is working towards improving the business environment in the country. Modi added that India’s move to cut corporate taxes is intended to attract investments, PTI reported.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman had last week cut corporate taxes from 35% to 22%, in a bid to boost the sluggish economy.

“If you want to invest in a market where there is scale, come to India,” he said. “If you want to invest in a market where the latest trends and features are appreciated, come to India. If you want to invest in start-ups with a huge market, come to India. If you want to invest in one of the world’s largest infrastructure ecosystem, come to India.”

Modi said that India is rapidly modernising its cities and equipping them with the latest technology, as well as creating a citizen-friendly infrastructure. “Thus, if you want to invest in urbanisation, come to India,” he said.

“We have opened our defence sector like never before,” the prime minister added. “If you want to Make in India, for India and for the world, come to India.” Modi interacted with over 40 global business leaders and American chief executive officers, underlining the steps India has taken to become a $5 trillion economy.

“The four factors that make India reliable for investors and make India unique are democracy, demography, demand and decisiveness,” the prime minister added, according to ANI. “Democracy together with political stability, predictable policy and independent judiciary gives confidence of safety and security of investment and of growth.”

“Now in the coming years, India is going to invest $1.3 trillion in modern infrastructure,” Modi said. “Also, lakhs of crores of rupees are being spent on social infrastructure of the country.” Modi claimed that India has the “capability, courage and conditions” to become a $5 trillion economy by 2024.

“Your desires and our dreams match perfectly,” Modi added, according to PTI. “Your technology and our talent can change the world. Your scale and our skills can speed up global economic growth. Your prudent method and our pragmatic mind can write new stories in management. Your rational ways and our human values can show the path which the world is looking for.”

Modi said democracy and an English-based judicial system provides added confidence to investors. “We have taken numerous decisions to increase investors confidence including scraping of 50 old laws which were coming in way of development,” he said. “This is just the beginning. We have a long innings ahead. The world business has a golden opportunity to partner with India in this journey.”

“In new India, we have run a campaign of de-regulation, de-licensing and de-bottlenecking,” the prime minister told the audience. “These reforms have helped India improve performance in every global ranking.”

Modi said India received $286 billion (Rs 20.3 lakh crore) worth of foreign investment in the last five years, half of what the country received in 20 years previously. “Half of American Foreign Direct Investment has come in the last four years,” the prime minister added. Modi said India ranks number one on seven out of 10 investment indicators, including political stability, currency stability, high-quality products, anti-corruption, low cost of production, strategic location and respect for intellectual property rights.

India’s Gross Domestic Product growth rate fell to 5.8% in the April-June 2019 quarter. United States-based financial services company Moody’s last month downgraded India’s projected GDP growth rate to 6.2% for 2019-’20.

‘Social media can be used for good governance’

The prime minister said social media can be used as a weapon for good governance, PTI reported. Modi also asked people to remain vigilant about fake news on social media.

“Social media has become a powerful instrument of democracy,” Modi said during a question-answer session. “I have ordered action based on incidents that catch my eye.” He added that it is exciting to see established media houses take up the task of combating fake news. “The fashion of forwarding should be solved with technology,” the prime minister added.

Modi had attended the United Nations General Assembly session in New York on Tuesday, and met United States President Donald Trump on its sidelines. The two leaders discussed various matters, and Trump encouraged Modi to improve relations with Pakistan.

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.