As the global economic uncertainty weighs down on the world’s elite here at WEF meeting, Vedanta group Chairman Anil Agarwal today said it presents India an opportunity to consolidate its position as a ‘bright spot’.
Here for the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting, Agarwal said a key theme this year at Davos was around the role of technology to transform mankind and the ‘fourth industrial revolution’ currently under way and India is poised to lead this revolution also.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is for India to emerge as a global innovation hub, which is why he launched the ‘Digital India’ campaign last year — a flagship government programme designed to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy,” Agarwal said.
Referring to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s statement here at WEF that “any economy needs multiple engines of growth”, Agarwal said it is now becoming increasingly clear that services alone cannot drive India.
“Manufacturing, agriculture and mining are equally important to power the economy ahead,” he added.
About China, he said the economic uncertainty in that country has highlighted almost every conversation, with growing concern over the slowing pace of economic growth in China.
“China has become one of investors’ greatest sources of anxiety and has shaken confidence with its currency moves, market regulation and criminal probes of financial executives,” Agarwal told PTI about his key takeaways from Davos.
“As the world’s second-biggest economy, China needs to remain strong and open up its financial markets,” he added.
On India, he said that at this time of global economic uncertainty, India is set to become the world’s fastest growing major economy by 2016.
Referring to a new World Bank report which called India-led South Asia a “bright spot” in emerging markets, he said India is certainly cementing itself as the world’s growth engine.
He further said the Chinese slowdown has given India a clear opportunity.
Agarwal said the Indian government’s reform agenda is continuing to make it easier to do business in India while big-ticket reforms in mining, insurance, defence, power and oil sectors spur a great deal of interest for India among global investors.
“India’s geology is highly prospective for oil, bauxite, iron ore, fertiliser, gold and stone and all the resources the economy needs to grow and move people out of poverty and help job creation,” he added.
“Prime Minister Modi’s vision is for inclusive, broad-based economic growth and this can be achieved through initiatives such as ‘Make in India’ and ‘Find in India’ which are designed to explore the natural resources we already have and unlock them for the benefit of India and its people.”