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Kovind invites Australians to benefit from India’s growth story

Kovind invites Australians to benefit from India’s growth story
November 22
19:04 2018

Sydney, Nov 22 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday invited Australian companies and investors to step up their business with India taking advantage of the growing opportunities and the conducive atmosphere.

“Business sector after business sector, from aviation to mining to defence production, has had doors thrown open to global players and investors,” he said at the Australian Financial Review India Business Summit.

“Our countries (Australia and India) have been among the beneficiaries of globalisation… In recent years, India has renewed its commitment to a liberal, transparent and globalised economy,” he pointed out.

Asserting India is the first major economy to seek industrialisation while combating climate change, he said the country is committed to globalisation.

Addressing Australian industrialists at the newspaper’s summit, attended by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Kovind said India is in the top league in terms of openness to foreign capital and international investors.

He said India is in the midst of an “infrastructure push of unusual urgency” as it constructs highways, rolls out broadband, creates new railway and freight corridors, upgrades ports and high-speed train networks, expands air connectivity and industrial corridors.

“Large cranes and armies of workers in hard hats dot the Indian landscape. India is in business,” he said, adding the country has chosen a different growth path.

“India’s growth is different from that of many others. We are the first major country that is seeking to make that leap into industrialisation while also combating climate change, and while reducing the intensity of dependence on fossil fuels,” he said.

India has set a target of 175 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2022, of which 100 gigawatts will comprise solar energy, and is on course to exceed the target.

The President talked about the fiscal and regulatory reforms including Goods and Services Tax (GST), which brought India’s 29 states on a common tax platform, and the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business where India jumped 65 positions to 77th rank in the past four years.

While India’s digital economy, its e-commerce companies, its technology start-ups and its fin-tech innovators are attracting foreign direct investment, he said Australia seems missing in the India investment story.

“This is a gap we need to address. Australia and India have too much at stake in each other to not up their game… It’s not that Australian companies are not present in India, it’s just that there is still enormous room for us to work together,” he said.

Kovind said the Australian super-funds or pension funds will find Indian infrastructure space worthy.

“Let us put our heads together and create investment products that works for Australian super-funds and Indian infrastructure and for Australian pensioners and Indian consumers and that lead to a win-win situation,” he said.

India-Australia trade, valued at $21 billion in 2018, has grown but remain below potential, he said, adding that India is positively engaging in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership and will contribute to its conclusion by 2019.

Kovind also said the two countries shared the vision for peace and prosperity of a free, open and rules-based Indo-Pacific Region.

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