India is replacing red tape with red carpet: PM Modi tells CEOs at Davos

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Davos: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on January 23 made a strong pitch to investors, saying the government had rolled out the red carpet and was removing red tape, while identifying climate change, terrorism and protectionism as the big challenges confronting countries.
Addressing a gathering of global elite in the Swiss ski resort at the opening session of the World Economic Forum+ ‘s annual meet, the PM also made not-so-subtle references to American protectionism and its stance on climate change under President Donald Trump. During his 52-minute speech in Hindi, the Chinese hunt for natural resources in Africa and its backing to Pakistan, which has been accused by India of promoting terrorism, also came in for criticism although he did not name any country.
“Because of our belief in co-existence of races and religions; and because of our belief in non-violence, we have always opposed terrorism. I say with full conviction that terrorism is bad in all its forms and facets. It is bad irrespective of its territory of origin or target of operation. We all must unite in fight against terrorism. India stands firmly with all such forces. I must also take the opportunity to appeal to all of you to see that such groups do not get money, arms and ammunition. It cannot be a good business to do business with such elements. We all know that, without peace, progress and prosperity is not possible,” Modi said.
He flagged two specific concerns related to terrorism. “Terrorism is a big threat but an even bigger threat is when you give definitions like good terrorism and bad terrorism,” he said adding that the other big worry was the radicalization of educated youth.
Like Xi Jinping address last year, Modi’s speech seemed to attack the recent protectionist policies of the US. “Many societies and countries are becoming self-centered. It seems that globalization, as opposed to its definition, is shrinking. Such misplaced preferences can’t be considered any lesser threat than terrorism or climate change. We must admit shine of globalization is fading,” the PM said. While pointing out how there were few trade deals and tariff and non-tariff barriers were increasingly being used to block exports, Modi said that overseas investments were also being impacted.
In contrast, Modi cited recent data and surveys to suggest that India was open for business and added that his government’s policies had received widespread support from the people.
“Come to India if you want wealth and wellness. Come to India, if you want health and wholeness. Come to India, if you want prosperity with peace… You will always be welcome,” Modi said.
Referring to the US and other developed countries, he said that there was only talk of lower carbon emissions but there were few countries that were offering resources and technology to developing countries. In contrast, he said, India and France had come together to put in place the International Solar Alliance.
In what was a reference to the UN and the World Bank and the IMF, the PM also called for a revamp of multilateral bodies, while asking countries to adhere to global rules.
Despite charges against his government and party for promoting intolerance, a major thrust of the PM’s speech was to portray India as an open inclusive country that could address some of the challenges and divisions in the world.

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