Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who is on a week-long official visit to the U.S., today said that foreign investments have kept coming to India. She urged prospective investors to come and look at what's happening in India rather than listening to “perceptions” being built by people who've not visited the ground but writing reports.

Sitharaman was speaking on “Resilience of the Indian economy amidst tightening of financial conditions” at Peterson Institute for International Economics on the sidelines of the Spring Meetings 2023 in Washington DC.

The FM said the Indian economy's resilience is due to the "resilience & enterprising nature of Indians". "Despite suffering and loss of lives, we took up COVID-19 as a challenge and helped each other. The government extended support to people through a targeted approach and undertook humanitarian steps," she added.

Slamming those attacking India over its treatment of minorities, Sitharaman said: "Those talking about perception should know that the Muslim population in India has not dwindled between 2014-23. It has been growing since independence & today we have the second-largest Muslim population in the world. Contrast that to Pakistan where religious minorities have been decimated."

The FM also attended a roundtable meeting on the theme “Investment opportunities for the long term: India on the Rise” with business leaders and investors co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry and U.S.-India Business Council in Washington DC.

The roundtable was attended by a diverse set of investors, including senior executives, private sector business leaders, venture capitalists, institutional investors, and representatives of pension and endowment funds.

The finance minister apprised the group of the journey of India’s conscious policy choices and structural and governance reforms that laid the foundation for the Indian economy to support growth at its full potential. She said India’s robust digital public infrastructure such as the open network for digital commerce (ONDC) and account aggregator platform have enabled small entrepreneurs to access credit and other digital services.

In a world full of post-pandemic challenges, the FM said, India offers policy certainty, skilled manpower, high digital tech adoption rate, resulting in a host of opportunities for investment going forward towards ‘Amrit Kaal’. She also exhorted the participants to become part of India’s exciting transformational journey towards greater prosperity, better standards of living for its citizens and higher returns for investors.

She highlighted the impact of digitalisation and economic formalisation at length, stating that due to its achievements in transitioning to digital payments and integrating the informal sector, India meets the requirements of a fair transparent economy.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, Ambassador of India to the United States, said India is committed to multi-stakeholder engagement. “We are trying to be a voice not only for the people who are in the room, but those who are outside of it. The G20 is touching all stakeholders.”

On this occasion, USIBC chief Atul Keshap also expressed that its members are optimistic that "continued momentum can yield more concrete results in the ease of doing business and improving India’s investment environment."

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