BEIJING: Describing Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “relentless efforts at major power diplomacy” as the main achievement of his first year in office, a leading Chinese government mouthpiece said on Monday there is, however, little evidence of foreign direct investments coming into India.
“For the moment, there is little evidence of success for foreign investments from private enterprises,” the state-run magazine stated in an opinion piece, titled “Economy a dilemma for globe-trotting Modi”, barely two days after Modi concluded his official visit to China.
“In the end, if any country tries to encourage investments to India, most of the programmes will be led by the government itself, with most of the private business sector skeptical about the whole idea,” it said.
Pointing out that though India enjoyed a favourable diplomatic climate due to its ideal geographical position, the daily in a hard-nosed assessment of the country said that “even if New Delhi keeps persuading investors how promising it is to do business in India, the current situation is far from reassuring”.
“Power failures happen frequently. There is a lack of decent roads and ports for transportation. Labour unrest occurs from time to time. Attracting investments against such backdrop will prove to be a major problem,” it added.
The article said despite the fact that Modi’s government has brought in a series of measures for investors, such as establishing special economic zones, free tax zones and free trade areas, some of these efforts have come up against resistance by state governments, which “hold great control over adopting policies for local economic development”.
Saying the US has been trying to cultivate India in its geopolitical strategy to contain China’s rise, while Beijing desires to promote friendly ties with its neighbour, the article stated: “Modi has obviously realized this, that’s why he started proactive international engagement soon after he assumed office.”
“But India has long adhered to an independent foreign policy, with no interest in being manipulated to fight in anyone’s corner,” the mouthpiece said.
India, it said, has traditionally acted very prudently, “which can be seen from Modi embracing Putin while trying to cement closer ties with Washington at the same time”.