India a bright spot in global economy: PM

India a bright spot in global economy: PM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the delegates after delivering his inaugural speech for the third annual meeting Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) Forum, as AIIB President Jin Liqun (R) looks on, in Mumbai on Tuesday, June 26, 2018.

India has emerged as a bright spot in the global economy, which is driving global growth as well, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

"With a size of $2.8 trillion, it is the seventh largest in the world. It is the third largest in terms of purchasing power parity. In the fourth quarter of 2017, we grew by 7.7%. In 2018, we are projected to grow at 7.4%," Modi said.

Addressing the third annual meeting of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) here, Modi said that India is one of the most investor-friendly economies in the world.

"Investors look for growth and macroeconomic stability. They want political stability and a supportive regulatory framework to ensure the protection of their investment. From the point of a larger scale of operations and higher value addition, an investor is also attracted by a large domestic market size, availability of skilled labour and good physical infrastructure. On each of these parameters, India is well-placed and has performed very well," he told the AIIB gathering.

Modi said that the macroeconomic fundamentals are strong with stable prices, a robust external sector and a fiscal situation firmly in control.

"Despite rising oil prices, inflation is within the mandated range. The government is firmly committed to the path of fiscal consolidation. Government debt as the percentage of GDP is consistently declining. India has achieved a rating upgrade after a long wait," he said.

"The external sector remains robust. Our foreign exchange reserves of more than $400 billion  provide us with enough cushion. Global confidence in India’s economy is rising. Total FDI flows have increased steadily – more than $222 billion have been received in the last four years," Modi said.

As per UNCTAD’s World Investment Report, India continues to be one of the top FDI destinations in the world, he added.

"From the point of a foreign investor, India counts as an extremely low-risk political economy. The government has taken a number of steps to boost investment. We have simplified rules and regulations for businesses and undertaken bold reforms. We have provided investors with an environment which is efficient, transparent, reliable and predictable. We have liberalised the FDI regime. Today, most sectors are on automatic approval route," Modi noted.

"The Indian story of economic resurgence closely mirrors that of many other parts of Asia. Now, the continent finds itself at the centre of global economic activity. It has become the main growth engine of the world. In fact, we are now living through what many have termed the ‘Asian Century’," the prime minister said.

"A ‘New India’ is rising. It is an India that stands on the pillars of economic opportunity for all, knowledge economy, holistic development, and futuristic, resilient and digital infrastructure. We look forward to our continued engagement with our development partners including AIIB," he said.

Speaking on the market size, Modi said the size and growth of the Indian market hold much potential. India’s per capita income has doubled in the last 10 years.

"We have over 300 million middle-class consumers. This number is expected to double in the next 10 years. The size and scale of the requirement in India gives the added advantage of economies of scale for investors," Modi added.