Indian PM reaffirms manufacturing goals at Hannover-style event

India’s prime minister Narendra Modi has opened a week-long event highlighting the goal of boosting manufacturing in the developing country.

Reuters reports that the Make In India event’s gala opening on Saturday was attended by prime ministers including from Finland and Sweden, featured 10 pavillions, and expected 2,500 foreign companies and 8,000 Indian companies to attend.

“We want to make India a global manufacturing hub,” Modi said, according to The Financial Times.

“There is an all round emphasis on ‘Ease of doing business’ . . . We are also simplifying processes like licences, security and environmental clearances.”

Make In India was launched in September 2014, and aims to greatly increase foreign investment and employment in the country. Modi’s government wants to recreate China’s manufacturing export boom and to increase manufacturing’s share from 17 per cent to 25 per cent of Indian GDP by 2025.

There have been mixed successes.

Foreign direct investment doubled to nearly $US 59 billion last year, according UNCTAD.

However, India still ranks poorly in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business list, at 130th. Modi wants this to improve to within the top 50 by 2017.

"Make in India is a great initiative and has created a lot of positive sentiments," Vikas Agarwal of mobile phone manufacturer OnePlus told Reuters.

"Now the government needs to follow up with policies. That includes providing custom duty and export incentives, tax rationalization and removal of ambiguous land acquisition policies."

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