INDIAN Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a forceful plea to Singapore-based businesses to invest in India, saying that the country is now among the most open economies in the world for foreign direct investment (FDI).
He was speaking at the India-Singapore Economic Convention at Marina Bay Sands on Tuesday. Mr Modi told about 500 business delegates that over the past 18 months his government has been successful in restoring the credibility of India in the eyes of global players.
"As soon as my government took over, we started liberalising the FDI regime along with other reforms. We allowed 100 per cent FDI in railways and enhanced the FDI limit to 49 per cent in defence and insurance.
"We are also conscious of the last mile operational issues in such policies. In that spirit, we are finetuning the procedures. Early this month, we have taken very dynamic steps to further open up the economy for FDI."
Speaking at the event, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), S Iswaran, noted that over the past 10 years, Singapore's total trade with India has doubled from S$11.8 billion to S$24.6 billion, while its investments in India have grown nearly 20-fold from S$653 million to S$12.1 billion. This heightened economic activity has further enhanced people-to-people ties between Singapore and India, he added.
The minister added that India and Singapore have committed to pursue five initiatives. They are scaling up trade and investment; speeding up air and maritime connectivity and costal development; smart city development and urban rejuvenation; skills development and capacity building; and state focus to strengthen business and cultural links.