Geneva: Seeking to build 2-3 Switzerlands within India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Monday sought Swiss investment to upgrade infrastructure like railways, build metro train in 50 cities and five crore affordable homes.
At a roundtable with chief executives of leading Swiss firms, Modi spoke about the steps his government has taken to make it easier to do business in India and went on to list his targets including generating 175 giga watts of solar energy.
For India to develop, it needs upgradation of infrastructure at a massive scale. "We need to build metro train services in 50 cities, have to construct 50 million affordable houses, railway network has to be expanded and upgraded and technology has to improve," he said.
Keeping the climate change agenda in mind, India is targeting building of 175 GW of solar energy. "The experience of past two years has shown that we can complete it within time," he said.
Prime Minister, however, wanted solar equipment manufacturers to also come to India and innovate.
Inviting Swiss business to investment in India, Modi said he stood committed to GST and European Free Trade Association.
Prime Minister Modi held wide-ranging talks with prominent business leaders from Switzerland including officials of ABB, Lafarge, Novartis, Nestle, Rieter and Roche.
He told the Swiss watch industry that the diamonds on their watches come from Gujarat and "so I am fully sensitive to your concerns."
"Within my country I need to create 2 or 3 Switzerlands. So scope for partnership is immense," he told the business leaders. "We want to have manufacturing of global standards. Hence Swiss model of skill development very relevant for us."
India, he said, is not just a market of 1.25 billion. "We have skills and a government open to business."
"We have stressed on good governance. Legislations are being improved following global benchmarks," he said, adding that India has rapid improved on the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business ranking.
Modi said the target before him were to boost 'Make in India' as well as human resource development.
"I want to improve skills of our workforce which can not just meet needs of India but also of the world," he said, adding India has 800 million people below the age of 35 years.
Switzerland, he said, has experience in both the areas and the two nations can collaborate on it.
The BJP government, he said, wants to improve the quality of life of common man by providing electricity, water, road, healthcare, education and affordable housing.
Low cost input for agriculture, irrigation infrastructure and use of solar pumps to power farm output were important areas, he said.
The Prime Minister said India is committed to the G20 resolution on transparency and real time information exchange on banking sector.
His discussion with the business leaders focused on ways to enhance trade cooperation between the two countries.
Modi urged the Swiss business leaders to explore the investment opportunities in India.