Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a big pitch for investment in Singapore today, both at the Economic Convention and in his address to the Indian community. While FDI stands for Foreign Direct Investment, for him, it means First Develop India, the Prime Minister explained.
Speaking at the Economic Convention attended by industry leaders, PM Modi enumerated the steps taken to reform the economy and the results it yielded, dwelling at length on the Make in India initiative.
"Today FDI is 40% higher than when I took over," he said in the tiny nation that is the second largest source of foreign investment in India.
Underscoring the message during his address to the Indian diaspora, he said the country of 1.25 billion of Indians depended heavily on imports, even to the extent of tear gas shells.
"For the first time, 49% FDI has been opened up in the Defence sector... We have opened 100% FDI in railways," he told the gathering of around 50,000 Indians at the Singapore expo.
"Because there is trust for India across the world, we are entering the world market in the form of Rupees," he said. "For the first time at the London Stock Exchange, we are pushing for the Rupee Bond. Anyone in the world can invest in them."
Highlighting the achievements of his government over the last 18 months, he said now many countries were signing deals with India.
Simultaneously, taking a dig at the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government, he said, "Charges of corruption would me made every time a defence deal was signed. It has been 18 months and no one has been able to lift a finger on our dealings."
Of Singapore's 5.5 million population, 350,000 people are of Indian-origin. In 2014-15, trade with Singapore was about $17 billion.