Her Excellency, Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, Vice Chancellor, Mr. Sigmar Gabriel Minister Dr. Johanna Wanka, Minister-President Mr. Stephan Weil Chairman of Deutsche Messe Dr. Wolfram von Fritsch
It is truly a great privilege for me to be here at the Inauguration of the world's largest industrial fair.
First, I want to thank the city of Hannover and Hannover Messe. They have been most generous in allowing us to unleash our lions in this city. The lions are a symbol of a new India. They roar; but with a message of friendship and promise of partnership, from .25 billion people of India. This is also the message of 15 states, 20 CEOs and 350 companies from India participating in this Fair.
Your choice of India as a Partner Country reflects the new confidence in India. Our decision to be here in the first year of my Government reflects our priority:
We want to accelerate economic growth and create jobs for our youth.
We want to build world class industry and infrastructure.
We want to transform our cities and villages; clean up our environment; and improve the quality of life.
Our presence as a partner country says something else also. We will naturally pursue our goals on the strength of our own resources, skills and enterprise. But, we know that we will be more successful when we do this in partnership with the world. For people in India, Germany is a valued partner; and, an enduring symbol of technology and innovation, quality and productivity.
Even more, India and Germany share a close and warm relationship. It goes back centuries, in the intellectual journey of German scholars. It has grown in depth and diversity from our birth as modern Republics at the same time, Through the passage of history, Indians and Germans have formed a relationship of mutual fascination and goodwill.
It also includes a vibrant economic partnership that extends beyond the last century. Today, you can easily think of companies like Siemens as Indian! Nearly a hundred years ago, India's great poet and philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore said, that Germany has done more than any other country to open India to the Western World.
Today, I come to seek German partnership in my own mission to open up India's seamless economic potential.To the industry of the world that has assembled here today, I say that we have no special bias for our host today! India is open and ready to embrace the world. As I have travelled around the world, I have seen a new level of interest in building partnerships of trade, investment and innovation in India. It mirrors the surge of hope in our own people and industry; the new tide of expectation in our 800 million youth – for opportunities and progress. And, if we want to fulfill the dreams of our youth, we must turn our industry into a manufacturing hub for the world and an engine for employment at home. And, we must equip our youth with the skills to meet the needs of our nation, and the demands of the globalised world.
Whatever we choose to do, from reaching the cutting edge of industry to meeting the most critical social need, we require investment and technology, industry and enterprise. That is why for me, Make in India is not a brand. Nor is it simply a slogan on a smart lion!
It is a new national movement. And, it covers the whole spectrum of our government, society and business. To this informed audience, I hardly need to state the obvious: Our scale of transformation is vast; therefore, the opportunities we offer are huge.
You are also familiar with our demography and our demand. The question that you ask is whether we can turn this potential into a reality; and, our vision into action.
What you seek is not just an attractive destination; but, also the assurance that it is open; and, it is easy to reach and work in. You want the confidence that the environment is stable; the rules won't change frequently; and there would be no surprises. So, we have moved with speed, resolve and boldness to fulfill our pledge.
We are creating a stable economic environment that inspires confidence at home and abroad. We are pursuing strong fiscal discipline to do that. I know how much Chancellor Merkel will appreciate that point!
We have taken sweeping steps to reform our policies and open up more to foreign direct investments in key areas like insurance, construction, defence and railways. Railways is the thread that binds India. It will now be a fast track to India's transformation. And, what was a department of the government is now open to 100% Foreign Direct Investments.
We are removing unnecessary regulations and simplifying our procedures. We are using digital technology to eliminate multiple approvals and endless wait. We will guide you and walk with you in your projects. We have set up Invest India and country desks in it that will be networked to the states. We will nurture innovation and protect your intellectual property. There were institutions in India that seemed beyond scrutiny. Well, they no longer are. We are reforming institutions in ways that has not happened in decades. We are building a tax regime that is predictable, stable and competitive. We will now address the remaining uncertainties. The Goods and Services Tax is a long needed revolution that is becoming a reality.
For us, the highest priority is creating world class infrastructure. We have made a sharp increase in public investments. We have established a National Infrastructure and Investment Fund and a new institution for integrated development of this sector. We are launching attractive new financial instruments for long term funds. We seek to fuel our growth with the cleanest and most efficient use of energy.
We have set a target of 75 Giga Watts of new capacity for renewable and clean energy in the next seven years. It is a challenging goal- yes; but, important to pursue. Good Governance is essential not just for our citizens, but also for business. With transparency and speed, we have resumed long stalled projectsand allocation of resources. This is adding new momentum to our economy. We are instituting a rational framework for acquisition of land without causing distress to farmers and other landowners. We are creating a predictable and transparent environment approval process that will protect our natural heritage. Above all, we know, as you do, that the investment journey may begin in Delhi, but its success depends on state capitals and districts.
So, for the first time, we are working as Team India – a new partnership between the Centre and the States. We speak of cooperative federalism, but also of competitive federalism, where states would excel by competing with each other for investments and jobs. We are also giving them more resources, so that they can build the infrastructure that you need. I also see them as partners in our international engagement.
But, I am also aware that it is easier to change policies and write new laws than it is to change attitudes, culture and systems. Every CEO who has tried a turnaround knows that. Our task is huge; it won't be completed overnight. But, I am confident that it will. And, we are moving firmly and clearly in that direction. The wind of change is there. and, it is gathering speed. When IMF, the World Bank, credit rating agencies and expert speak in one voice of optimism about India, we know that the wind is blowing in the right direction. And, it has made us the fastest growing economy in the world.
So, my message to you is this: You will find environment that is not only open, but also welcoming. We will make it easy to do business in India. And, we will always be eager to listen to your feedback. So, our industry is here to showcase their skills. There are many Indian examples of technological leadership in the world. But, we want a future in which excellence defines every sector and every industry in our country. And, they are here to seek your partnership.
It is not just about financial flows, new technology or products. It is also about learning from each other; about seeing possibilities in new ways. India is a nation that is blessed with so much goodwill in the world. Everywhere, I see a strong desire for India to succeed.
The progress of one sixth of humanity will be of great consequence for the world and our beautiful planet. It will be a world of more hope and opportunities; a world more confident of its success. This is a time of political instability and economic challenges; and, threats of violence that are increasingly close to our homes. The humanity needs the solidarity and strength of international partnerships more than ever before.
India will do its part - as an anchor of economic stability; an engine for growth; and, as a force of peace and stability in the world. So, let me invite you to do business and make in India – for India and the world. Let me invite you to be our partner in making a new India. I also welcome you to enjoy our timeless traditions, the ceaseless celebration of diversity;and, the warm embrace of friendship.
I wish the Fair all success. When its shutters come down, I hope that many new doors would have opened.
Thank you once again.