MUMBAI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi renewed his call over the weekend for firms to invest in India and turn it into a global manufacturing hub, painting the country as a bright spot for investment in an uncertain world economy.
The right-wing prime minister was addressing a gathering of industry leaders, CEOs and foreign dignitaries in the commercial capital Mumbai to mark the start of Make in India week, which runs until February 18.
The glitzy showcase is part of a drive to convince foreign firms to take advantage of cheap Indian labor and invest in factories in the country as rising wages make traditional hubs more expensive.
“This campaign has the capacity to boost India’s economy and also brighten the global scenario,” Modi said.
“This century is Asia’s century. My advice to you is to make India your center if you want this century to be your century,” he said.
The Hindu nationalist leader faces a huge challenge in persuading foreign companies—many of which still eye India’s labyrinthine bureaucracy, complex regulations and poor infrastructure with suspicion—to invest in the country.
He is seeking to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) into 25 key sectors, from traditional industries such as leather goods to high-skill areas such as defense manufacturing.