- Associated Press - Thursday, January 28, 2021

NEW DELHI (AP) - India’s prime minister on Thursday invited foreign investors to take advantage of the country’s $26 billion incentive-linked program and help the country become a manufacturing hub.

India will need an investment of $ 4.5 trillion by 2040 to develop its vast infrastructure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told business and political leaders in a virtual talk organized by the World Economic Forum.

He identified electric mobility, clean energy, oil and gas pipelines, airports and mobile manufacturing as some of the areas that might be attractive to foreign investors.

He said India offered a big market and business-friendly environment as a vibrant democracy. He also spoke about the success of India’s efforts to integrate the informal economy through digital transactions, especially after the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic.

Modi said India has vaccinated 2.3 million health workers in less than two weeks and authorities hope to give shots to 300 million people. The recipients will include 30 million doctors, nurses and other front-line workers.

India started inoculating health workers on Jan. 16 in a major COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

India is home to the world’s largest vaccine makers. India on Jan. 4 approved emergency use of two vaccines, one developed by Oxford University and U.K.-based drugmaker AstraZeneca, and another by Indian company Bharat Biotech.

The WEF annual meeting is being held online this year due to the pandemic, instead of the in-person event that normally takes place in Davos, Switzerland.

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