The focus of this year’s Conference was to ‘hear and learn’ from the stories of ‘developed countries’, each one perhaps having their own set of challenges in attaining the ‘developed’ status. India intends to imbibe these lessons learnt and shape India’s vision of being a developed country. As an emerging economy of Asia, India is considered a strong contender in making it to the list of ‘developed countries’. While there is an awareness, coupled with efforts and initiatives being taken to reach this goal, one needs to implement these to become a developed country. With the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s initiative of ‘Make in India’ – there perhaps could not have been a better time to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development, protect intellectual property and build best in class manufacturing infrastructure.
Mr Kiyoshi Furuhashi, Counsellor (Economic), Embassy of Japan said in his address post Honorable Prime Minister Mr Narendar Modi’s visit to Japan last year in September, Japan and India have signed an MOU to roll out 30 Billion US dollars as public finance in the next 5 years. Japan will also help India in modernizing its railways network. He further added that investment in infrastructure development should be prime goal of the Indian Government. He gave examples that after the 2nd World War, how Japan had invested 7 to 8% of its GDP in development of sectors like Agriculture, Roads and Highways, flood water control etc.
Ms. Mehnaz Ansari, USTDA Country Representative, U. S Trade & Development Agency (USTDA) started her address with the quote “A developed nation is not a nation where the poor drive cars, but a nation where the rich use public transport”. She added that USA and India share a very close relationship and it is in USA and global economy’s benefit to see India develop as quickly as possible. She further added that the USTDA is working closely with the Government to convert Ajmer, Vizag and Allahabad into smart cities. She gave examples of how USTDA has helped the Indian Government in over 125 infrastructure projects in different sectors such as Telecom, Transport etc. since 1981.
Sunil Mahajan, Additional Director,Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC) said that India needs to define what development means for Indians. He gave examples of nations like Cuba and Bhutan which have refused the western norms of development. He said that India does not need to follow the western model of development. India needs to retain its cultural and social ethos while striving towards development. He further added that PM Modi’s schemes such as Swachh Bharat Abhiyan and Surakhsit Khadya Abhiyan, are very good initiatives which are aligned to the social and cultural spirits of India. He said that it is imperative for social development to occur simultaneously along with physical infrastructure development.
Mr Anshuman Magazine, Chairman, CII Regional Conference on Infrastructure Management, and; Chairman and Managing Director, CBRE South Asia Private Limited elaborated on the theme of this year’s conference, Journey from Developing to a Developed Nation. He emphasized on the importance of development of Infrastructure in India. Make in India cannot succeed without proper infrastructure he said. He added that last year alone India added 35 Million sq. ft. of office space, which is far from where India needs to be. He further laid emphasis on Project Management in Infrastructure development sector and also added that a lot of work needs to be done for the Prime Minister’s scheme of 100 Smart Cities.
Dr Alka Kaul, Chairperson, CII Delhi State Council, and; Director, Horizon Industrial P Pvt. Ltd. said that when India got Independence, our priority was to become a Developed country. However, this seems that our wait in the queue for becoming a developed country keeps on lengthening as many more countries that stood behind us overtook us. She did say though that we have made a lot of progress, from launching satellites to green revolution, operation flood to atomic power plants. She further added that Liberal and supportive Government policies coupled with deliberate strategies to promote infrastructure; spells great opportunities for engineering and construction and Infrastructure management companies in India in the time to come.
Mr Madhav B Shriram, Vice Chairperson, CII Delhi State Council, and; Director, DCM Shriram Industries Limited rendered the vote of thanks and said that in the last two decades, India has emerged as one of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with local organizations now competing on a global scale. He said that CII has been pushing for many policy changes suggestions with the new government which have been received well by the authorities.
14 October 2015