New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday pitched India as a key player in the global supply chain that businesses that are looking at re-wiring their operations cannot ignore, saying that trust and reliability should play an important role in decision making, not just cost-considerations.

Modi said at the virtual meeting of the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum on Thursday that the coronavirus pandemic has shown the world that the decision on developing global supply chains should be based on not only on costs. “They should also be based on trust along with affordability. Companies are also now looking for reliability and policy stability. India has all of these qualities,” Modi said.

Modi’s message to investors presenting India as destination they cannot ignore comes at a time many multinational corporations are exploring a China plus one strategy for developing their value chain, to de-risk any disruption in the future. Modi also said that because of the advantages India is enjoying, the country is becoming one of the leading destinations for foreign investment.

“Be it America, or the Gulf, be it Europe or Australia, the world believed in us. We have received over $ 20 billion of foreign investment flows during this year,” the Prime Minister said, adding that companies like Google and Amazon have announced long term plans for India.

Among the advantages that India offered to investors are transparent and predictable tax regime, a tax system that encourages and supports honest tax payers and a bankruptcy code that reduced the risks in the financial system. “Our labour reforms will reduce compliance burden for employers and provide social security protection to workers,” Modi said.

Modi also said that a self reliant and peaceful India ensures a better world. India has political stability, policy continuity and commitment to democracy, he said.

The Prime Minister did not name China but he said that the pandemic has demanded a fresh mindset where the approach to development ought to be human centric where there is spirit of cooperation between everyone.

“While looking at the way ahead, we should focus on ramping up our capacity, securing the poor and future proofing our citizens. This is the path we are taking,” said the Prime Minister.

Modi’s call to the US body comes just days after the trade ministers of India, Australia, and Japan in a meeting on Tuesday deciding to launch an initiative on supply chain resilience and invited like-minded countries in the Indo-Pacific region to join the initiative. The move aims to counter China’s dominance of global trade and supply chains.

India has been looking to establish itself as a manufacturing base for some years. In 2014, Modi unveiled the Make in India programme aimed at making India a manufacturing hub but investors have been seen as reluctant to come to the country. But with the pandemic putting question marks on China’s reliability as a supplier, India has been making efforts to woo investors and companies looking to exit China. (ends)

Pretika Khanna contributed to this story

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