New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla on Tuesday said that India has received over USD 20 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a virtual adress at Confederation of Indian Industry a (CII) event in the United Kingdom, the foreign secretary discussed and highlighted various structural reforms undertaken by India in even previously restricted sectors such as space, defence and atomic energy for greater private participation.
“The government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has launched several historic reforms to improve the ease of doing business in India in the last six years. Today, India is one of the most open economies in the world. We have put in place a transparent and predictable tax regime,” he said.
Shringla emphasised on the implementation of various ambitious initiatives like, rolling out of Goods and Services Tax, the Aadhaar biometric project, “groundbreaking reforms” in the agriculture sector and creation of infrastructure for railways, ports and airports.
“The success of the reforms launched by the Government is evident in the numbers. Even during the pandemic, we have received over USD 20 billion of FDI this year. While the global FDI declined by one per cent in 2019, FDI into India rose by 20 per cent in the same period,” he said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created severe economic challenges for both our countries. We can overcome these challenges by working together to create new opportunities for our business and industry,” added Shringla.
He said that the ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan’ or self reliant India campaign has fetched a stimulus package for the economy of about USD 270 billion.
The foreign secretary said that research and development for corornavirus vaccine is a crucial area where there is potential for collaboration between India and the UK.
“Serum Institute of India is already working with the Oxford University-Astrazeneca on their vaccine project. I talked about the role played by India’s pharmaceutical sector in meeting the global demand for essential medicines during the pandemic,” he said.
“We are certain that our companies will play a similar role in the development of an affordable vaccine for COVID-19,” he further added.