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GES 2017: Narendra Modi invites entrepreneurs to invest in India

Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited global entrepreneurs to invest and make in India during the inauguration of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017, which held for the first time in South Asia in Hyderabad.

“To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say, come, make in India, and invest in India, for India and for the world. I invite each one of you to become a partner in India’s growth story. And once again assure you of our wholehearted support,” he said, inaugurating the Global Entrepreneur Summit (GES) here.

The keynote was given by Ivanka Trump, advisor to US President Donald Trump, who is leading a US delegation to the summit. The event, being hosted by the governments of India and the US, is focused on women entrepreneurship; more than half of the 1,500 participants from 150 countries are women.

Listing the several initiatives of his government such as Startup India, the goods and services tax (GST), actions on black money and on bankruptcy and insolvency, he said his government has taken several steps to improve the business environment, leading to a jump in the country’s World Bank’s ease of doing business ranking (to 100 from 130 earlier) and improvement in the country’s ratings by Moody’s. He said the government was not satisfied and would strive to improve further to the fiftieth rank on the World Bank rating. “Our StartUp India programme is a comprehensive action plan to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation. It aims to minimise the regulatory burden and provide support to start-ups. Over 1,200 redundant laws have been scrapped, 87 rules for FDI have been eased in 21 sectors, and several government processes have been taken online,” Modi claimed.

The PM said an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level-playing field was necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish. “A historic overhaul of the taxation system has been recently undertaken, bringing in the GST. Our Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code is a step towards ensuring timely resolution for stressed ventures. We have recently improved this by preventing wilful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets,” he said, after inaugurating the eighth edition of the GES and the first one to be held in any South Asian country.

Though Hyderabad is the joint capital of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for now, it is the Telangana government that was in the spotlight. Hoardings were put around the city showing Modi with Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao. “Hyderabad, where unknown gems will be discovered,” reads one of the hoardings at the entrance to the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, the venue.

Modi, who took time out for this event from his busy schedule (in the run-up to Gujarat Assembly elections), also inaugurated the Hyderabad Metro with Rao and took a ride. “We believe in cooperative federalism. There is no question of discriminating against states where we are not in power,” the PM said.

The Metro will be open for the public from Wednesday. But Hyderabad already had something to cheer for. The city has been decked up to welcome the high-profile guests. Old bridges have been painted with vibrant colours. Worn out roads have been re-laid and decorated with murals. Lights adorn the paths to the venue and important landmarks. Dog catchers have been active for days and stray dogs have been removed from the roads. Hyderabad’s administration is learnt to have imposed restrictions on beggars’ movement on the streets and all of them have been shifted to ashrams, where they are being offered complimentary food. About 10,000 police personnel have been deployed by the state government to ensure security for the three-day event and for the guests.

The opening ceremony of the GES showcased the festivals and cities of the country. Images of the Ghats of Varanasi (Modi’s parliamentary constituency), the Ganpati festival in Mumbai and the Shikaras of Kashmir were displayed along with pictures of Mahatma Gandhi with his charkha. The ceremony also featured Modi government’s Make in India initiative, the Aadhaar scheme, and digital payment initiatives such as BHIM and Digipay.

Modi said the GES connects Silicon Valley to Hyderabad and showcases the close ties between India and the US. Listing the focus themes for GES — health care and life sciences, digital economy and financial technology, energy and infrastructure and media and entertainment — Modi said these issues related to the well-being and prosperity of mankind.

Stressing on the summit’s theme, Women First, Prosperity for All, the prime minister listed the importance and contribution of women in Indian mythology, during the freedom struggle and more recently in space programmes and sports. “Hyderabad is home to Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and Sania Mirza. The milk cooperative movement in Gujarat and Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad are examples of highly successful women-led cooperative movements.”  He said women entrepreneurs received over three-fourths of the Rs 4.28 lakh crore loans under the MUDRA Scheme since 2015.

Citing the examples of Charak Samhita and yoga, the PM said India has been an incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship since ancient times. “The digital world we live in today is based on a binary system. Zero, the foundation of this system, was invented in India.”

Source: Economic Times


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