'India never a better investment spot than today'
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday asserted that India was never a more promising investment destination than it is today as his government completes three years in office later this month.
The BJP-led NDA government stormed to power in May 2014, winning by a huge majority.
Addressing the India-Turkey Business Summit here, Modi said that since coming to power in this very month three years ago, the government has launched several initiatives to reform the economy and administrative processes.
The government also launched several flagship programmes like Make in India, Startup India and Digital India.
"Today, Indian economy is the fastest growing major economy in the world. In addition to maintaining this pace, our focus is to remove the inefficiencies from the system," the prime minister said.
The government, Modi said, is in the process of building a New India, adding that the focus is on improving ease of doing business by reforming policies, processes and procedures.
Seeking Turkish investments, the prime minister said there is a huge potential and opportunity to enhance bilateral engagement. This, he felt, is possible through trade and FDI inflows, technology tie-ups and cooperation on various projects.
"Let us work together for enhancing the level of our economic activities for welfare of our people. From the Indian side, I welcome you with open arms. I can say with confidence that India was never a more promising destination than it is today," the prime minister said.
He called on the chambers of commerce and industry of both sides to engage with each other pro-actively and work closely, both at the government and B2B levels.
"I know that Turkish construction companies have successfully undertaken many construction and infrastructure projects in other countries. Our infrastructure requirements are enormous, including core as well as social and industrial infrastructure," he said.
Referring to opportunities in India, Modi said the country plans to build 50 million houses by 2022, metro rail projects in 50 cities and high-speed trains in various national corridors. The two-way trade has gone up to $6.4 billion in 2016, from $2.8 billion in 2008.
"While this is encouraging, the level of present economic and commercial relations is not enough against the real potential," Modi said.
He spoke of energy, mining, textile, automobile and food processing as other areas that offer great promise
In his address to the Summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called for a free trade agreement with India to expand the ambit of bilateral economic ties. He also suggested that the two should explore the possibility of trade in local currency to deal with exchange rate fluctuations.
Hardselling his country as an ideal tourist destination, the president said Indian families are increasingly organising wedding ceremonies in Turkey in recent years.
"Therefore, we would like to host more Indian tourists in Turkey... you can come to Turkey for honeymoon. We would like to host you in Turkey," he added.
The visiting president said Turkish companies can participate in India's project to develop 100 smart cities.