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India is on course to become USD 5 trillion economy by 2025: PM Narendra Modi tells World Economic Forum


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi gestures as he delivers a speech on the opening day the World Economic Forum (WEF) 2018 annual meeting, on January 23, 2018 in Davos, eastern Switzerland. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINI

Davos: India is on the cusp of becoming a $5 trillion dollar economy by 2025, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the World Economic Forum, as he invited investors to come to India. Investing in India, travelling to India and manufacturing in India has become much easier, the Prime Minister said, listing his government’s policies, and added, “We have pledged to end license raj, we are removing red tape and laying out the red carpet.”

PM Modi made his Davos debut to a standing ovation as he entered the Congress Centre to deliver the keynote address. Speaking in Hindi, he showcased the ease of doing business in India even as he called for countries to unite to tackle what he called the three big challenges that the world faces – “climate change, terrorism and a threat to globalisation with powers of protectionism rising”.

‘‘Come to India,” PM Modi said, “If you want wellness along with wealth, wholeness along with health and peace with prosperity.” In India, he said, “democracy, demography and dynamism” are shaping development and growth that is inclusive. He quoted poet Rabindranath Tagore, saying he had written of “a haven of freedom where the world is not divided by narrow walls” and called for turning that into reality, stating that “India will always be a unifying and harmonising force.”

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Pitching India as an investment destination, he said its democracy, stability and certainty “are the bedrock of sustainable development.” “Democracy is not just a  political system but a way of life and lifestyle in India which has diverse religions, culture, languages, dress  and cuisine.

Democracy in India not only nurtures diversity but also the hopes of more than 1.25 billion people.” He said his government was functioning not for a limited class or section but for all. PM Modi said terrorism is dangerous, reiterating that “it is worse when people create an artificial difference between “good’ and ‘bad’ terror. It is painful to see some youngsters getting radicalised.”

Referring to the fractures and fault lines at the international level that “are really frightening”, the Prime Minister said “the biggest reasons are control of territories — both direct and indirect — and control of transactions, including cross border trade and movement of people”.The Prime Minister then spoke of the challenge of societies and countries that are becoming more and more self-centred. “It seems that globalisation is shrinking contrary to its name. Forces of protectionism are rearing their heads. They not only want to keep away from globalisation but also want to reverse the natural flow of globalisation.”