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Arun Jaitley woos foreign investors, says continuing reforms to push India’s growth higher

Wooing foreign investors with the promise of easier conditions for doing business, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday said continuing reforms will push India’s economic growth higher than last year’s 7.3 per cent despite adverse global winds.

India has the potential to be the bright spot in the gloomy world economic scenario, he said, adding fiscal deficit is coming down and inflation is very much under control.

Showcasing the India growth story to international investors with collective asset under management of USD 10 trillion, Jaitley asked them to invest in infrastructure, manufacturing and other sectors that have funding needs.

On the last day of his four-day visit to Singapore and Hong Kong, Jaitley said he thinks India has the potential to be the bright spot even in somewhat gloomier situation.

“We grew by 7.3 per cent last year and I hope that we are able to outperform our last year’s growth numbers,” Jaitley said here at the inaugural APIC-India Capital Markets and Institutional Investors Summit.

Underlining that international investment is going to be a great source of resource for the country, the Finance Minister said the government is working on a slew of reforms, including a new law to ensure disputes get settled through arbitration within six months.

“Ease of doing business is still work in progress. Significant advancement has been made, a lot will have to be done of course on a continuous basis,” he noted.

“I am conscious of adversities that come our way. India ended last year with 7.3 per cent. We had good fiscal figures. Fiscal deficit is gradually coming down and we are now aiming to bring it down in the next 2-3 years to 3 per cent,” he said.

Current account deficit is down to 1.2 percent, foreign exchange reserves are very high, inflation is very much under control and therefore, macroeconomic indications seem to be positive, he added.

“Global headwinds are not helping us and at times are creating adversities; particularly the external factors have impacted our exports. And in favourable global conditions, we can improve on the growth rate of 7.3 per cent in a significant way,” Jaitley said.

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