HANNOVER — Pledging a stable and transparent tax regime, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday wooed global investors, reiterating that development was not "merely a political agenda" but an "article of faith".
"We have re-energised the Indian growth engine. The credibility of our economy has been restored. India is once again poised for rapid growth and development," Modi said.
"It is the only emerging economy where growth rate is rising. The prospects are even better," he wrote in an op-ed article in the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
Modi said his government has earnestly taken up the challenge of development and economic transformation of India.
"For us, development is not a mere political agenda; it is an article of faith. My Government has pledged a stable and transparent tax regime, reducing corporate taxes and implementing a single Goods and Services Tax in 2016," he said.
Modi, who along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel yesterday inaugurated the Hannover Fair in which India is a partner country, said generating jobs for India's youth is a key to harnessing India's demographic advantage.
"This can be achieved only when we significantly and quickly ramp up our manufacturing capabilities. To meet this objective my government has unveiled the 'Make in India' initiative. This is a win-win for all. With 65 per cent of our population below the age of 35, the possibilities that India's growth presents for global economic prosperity are immense," said Modi.
Modi, who is on a three-day visit to Germany, said the focus of his government is "not merely economic growth but an inclusive development."
"I visualise India as a key engine of global growth. Our democratic principles and practices are guarantors of stability. We have a free media and an independent judiciary that allows all opinions to be aired without fear. We believe in rahein saath badhe saath (stay together-grow together)."
He said that global collaboration and support were crucial to meet the objectives of development.
"International support and collaboration is equally critical to achieving our objectives. I have therefore sought to build a foreign policy which is an integral part of our national development strategy. My interactions with leaders of USA, Russia, France, Japan and China have all aimed at creating enduring partnerships with shared stakes in global development and well-being," he said.
Modi said Germany enjoys a "special place" in India's quest for international collaborations, and that the country's "needs can become business opportunities for German industry."
"We share a strategic partnership based on our common values. India desires a mutually beneficial partnership for growth and prosperity with Germany. Our priorities fit well with Germany's expertise," he said.
He, however, said that a great deal of potential remains unrealised, despite more than 1600 Indo-German collaborations.
"Germany is globally renowned for its engineering, innovation and skills. The capacities of your Mittelstand and family-owned businesses are well known. I invite them to come to India. We admire Germany's achievements in the application of technology solutions to meet environmental challenges. You are also our natural ally in my government's 'Clean India' initiative. We also want to benefit from Germany's experience in cleaning the River Ganga," Modi said.
Modi also tried to allay concerns of German entrepreneurs.
"I will also listen carefully to learn what more we can do to address concerns of German entrepreneurs with regard to investment and manufacturing in India," he said.
Modi said that through the 'Act East' and 'Link West' policy, India has the "potential of becoming the middle ground for East and West as a manufacturing hub that serves both our vast domestic market and becomes a base for global exports and general well-being."
He said the 'Make in India' initiative requires urgent creation of new infrastructure.
The prime minister said the substantial enhancement in financing in the federal budget for highways, railways and energy is a step in this direction.
"In the last 11 months, we have come a long way in keeping this promise. Our aim is to completely eliminate poverty and to propel all Indians into a life of purpose and dignity within a generation," he said.
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