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In May last year, in what was the largest elections in the history of mankind, the people of India voted my Government into office. For the first time in three decades Indian voters gave a clear majority mandate to a government. The verdict was for change and for good and effective governance. It was also a call for development reflective of growing aspirations of India’s youthful millions. 

In the last 11 months, we have come a long way in keeping this promise. We have re-energised the Indian growth engine. The credibility of our economy has been restored. India is once again poised for rapid growth and development. It is the only emerging economy where growth rate is rising. The prospects are even better. 

This has not happened by chance. My government has earnestly taken up the challenge of development and economic transformation of India. For us, development is not a mere political agenda; it is an article of faith. We have initiated specific policies and actions to realise our vision for New Age India with a clear set of economic goals and objectives. Our focus is not merely economic growth but an inclusive development. This requires creating jobs, upgrading skills, raising productivity, benchmarking quality with global standards. Our aim is to completely eliminate poverty and to propel all Indians into a life of purpose and dignity within a generation. My own life-experience and belief in the role of good governance in India’s economic development has convinced me that this noble objective can be achieved. 

Generating jobs for India’s youthful population is a key to harnessing India’s demographic advantage. This can be achieved only when we significantly and quickly ramp up our manufacturing capabilities. To meet this objective my Government has unveiled the "Make in India" initiative. This is a win-win for all. The employment opportunities that new manufacturing will generate will enhance the purchasing power of our people. This in turn will create a market for more trade and investment. With 65% of our population below the age of 35, the possibilities that India's growth presents for global economic prosperity are immense. Through our "Act East” and "Link West” policy, India has the potential of becoming the middle ground for East and West as a manufacturing hub that serves both our vast domestic market and becomes a base for global exports and general well-being. 

Our strategy for "Make in India” requires urgent creation of new infrastructure. The substantial enhancement in financing in the federal budget for highways, railways and energy is a step in this direction. Work has begun on the development of Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. 

My Government has pledged a stable and transparent tax regime, reducing corporate taxes and implementing a single Goods & Services Tax in 2016. 

We recognize that the availability of a skilled work-force is a prerequisite for manufacturing growth. My Government is giving the highest priority to the Skills India programme. We will focus on promoting models of vocational training according to specific needs of local industry, and to adopt best practices from abroad. 

We are aware that all development must be environmentally sustainable. India has always cherished its environment. This is deeply ingrained in our age-old culture and civilization. Our revised target for renewable energy capacity of 175,000 MW by 2022 is a reflection of our commitment. 

Growing urbanization in India is one of our greatest challenges. The population in our cities is projected to double in 10 years. Our focus on development of Smart Cities is aimed at providing the basic necessities of affordable housing, clean water and a safe environment for our people. 

As a former Chief Minister of the State of Gujarat, I recognise that these ambitious objectives can be realized only through cooperation between the federal Government and our twenty nine States. We are creating structures to enable them to become partners of our exports and investment strategy. We have also adopted a strategy of cooperative and competitive federalism where states spur each other into greater effort through a healthy competition for economic growth and prosperity. 

International support and collaboration is equally critical to achieving our objectives. I have therefore sought to build a foreign policy which is an integral part of our national development strategy. My interactions with leaders of USA, Russia, France, Japan and China have all aimed at creating enduring partnerships with shared stakes in global development and well-being. 

Germany enjoys a special place in this context. We share a strategic partnership based on our common values. India desires a mutually beneficial partnership for growth and prosperity with Germany. Our priorities fit well with Germany’s expertise. India’s development needs can become business opportunities for German industry. 

We take satisfaction from the presence of more than 1600 Indo-German collaborations Nonetheless, a great deal of potential remains unrealized. Higher levels of investments are possible and indeed desirable. Germany is globally renowned for its engineering, innovation and skills. The capacities of your Mittelstand and family-owned businesses are well known. I invite them to come to India.

My visit to Germany and India’s participation at the Hannover Messe as a Partner Country is aimed at realising the immense possibilities that exist between us. In my discussions with Chancellor Merkel and with captains of German industry, I intend to share our sense of optimism and confidence in our future plans. I will also listen carefully to learn what more we can do to address concerns of German entrepreneurs with regard to investment and manufacturing in India. 

We see Germany as our preferred partner in developing skills of young Indians. We also want to learn from Germany's path-breaking experiences in renewable energy. We wish to replicate your success in solar roof-top projects and off-grid solar and wind power solutions, as well as your expertise in grid integration and management. Our smart city project can utilize your technologies to achieve water, waste and urban development objectives. We admire Germany's achievements in the application of technology solutions to meet environmental challenges. You are also our natural ally in my Government's "Clean India" initiative. We also want to benefit from Germany’s experience in cleaning the River Ganga. We invite your transport companies, including your railways, to assist us in the modernization of our transport networks. Your logistics and infrastructure companies can contribute to ongoing development of industrial corridors in India. 

I visualize India as a key engine of global growth. Our democratic principles and practices are guarantors of stability. We have a free media and an independent judiciary that allows all opinions to be aired without fear. We believe in "Rahein Saath Badhe Saath” (stay together-grow together). There is no other way forward. Mankind's progress in this century depends on cooperation and collaboration. Conflict is unthinkable. So is poverty which Gandhi called the worst form of violence. If we can take all Indians together into a better socio-economic future, I believe that the world we share will be a better place for all.

Pariksha Pe Charcha with PM Modi
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‘ચલતા હૈ’ નું વલણ છોડી દઈને ‘બદલ સકતા હૈ’ વિચારવાનો સમય પાકી ગયો છે: વડાપ્રધાન મોદી

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‘ચલતા હૈ’ નું વલણ છોડી દઈને ‘બદલ સકતા હૈ’ વિચારવાનો સમય પાકી ગયો છે: વડાપ્રધાન મોદી
Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership

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Trade and beyond: a new impetus to the EU-India Partnership
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INDIA-EU LEADERS' MEETING
May 08, 2021
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At the invitation of the President of the European Council Mr. Charles Michel, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi participated in the India-EU Leaders’ Meeting today.

The meeting was held in a hybrid format with the participation of leaders of all the 27 EU Member States as well as the President of the European Council and the European Commission. This is the first time that the EU hosted a meeting with India in the EU+27 format. The meeting was the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

During the meeting, the leaders expressed their desire to further strengthen the India-EU Strategic Partnership based on a shared commitment to democracy, fundamental freedoms, rule of law and multilateralism. They exchanged views on three key thematic areas: i) foreign policy and security; ii) COVID-19, climate and environment; and iii) trade, connectivity and technology. They discussed forging closer cooperation on combating the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recovery, tackling climate change, and reforming multilateral institutions. India appreciated the prompt assistance provided by the EU and its member states to combat its second COVID wave.

The leaders welcomed the decision to resume negotiations for balanced and comprehensive free trade and investment agreements. Negotiations on both the Trade and Investment Agreements will be pursued on parallel tracks with an intention to achieve early conclusion of both agreements together. This is a major outcome which will enable the two sides to realise the full potential of the economic partnership. India and the EU also announced dedicated dialogues on WTO issues, regulatory cooperation, market access issues and supply chain resilience, demonstrating the desire to deepen and further diversify economic engagement.

India and the EU launched an ambitious and comprehensive ‘Connectivity Partnership’ which is focused on enhancing digital, energy, transport and people-to-people connectivity. The Partnership is based on the shared principles of social, economic, fiscal, climate and environmental sustainability, and respect for international law and commitments. The Partnership will catalyse private and public financing for connectivity projects. It will also foster new synergies for supporting connectivity initiatives in third countries, including in the Indo-Pacific.

India and the EU leaders reiterated their commitment to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement and agreed to strengthen joint efforts for mitigation, adaptation and resilience to the impacts of climate change, as well as providing means of implementation including finance in the context of COP26. India welcomed the EU’s decision to join CDRI.

India and the EU also agreed to enhance bilateral cooperation on digital and emerging technologies such as 5G, AI, Quantum and High-Performance Computing including through the early operationalization of the Joint Task Force on AI and the Digital Investment Forum.

The leaders noted with satisfaction the growing convergences on regional and global issues, including counterterrorism, cybersecurity and maritime cooperation. The leaders acknowledged the importance of a free, open, inclusive and rules-based Indo-Pacific and agreed to closely engage in the region, including in the context of India’s Indo-Pacific Ocean’s Initiative and the EU’s new strategy on the Indo-Pacific.

Coinciding with the Leaders’ Meeting, an India-EU Business Roundtable was organised to highlight the avenues for cooperation in climate, digital and healthcare. A finance contract of Euro 150 million for the Pune Metro Rail Project was signed by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and European Investment Bank.

India-EU Leaders Meeting has set a significant milestone by providing a new direction to the Strategic Partnership and giving a fresh impetus for implementing the ambitious India-EU Roadmap 2025 adopted at the 15th India-EU Summit held in July 2020.