New Delhi, Dec 7 (IANS): Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday urged the captains of the industry to work towards strengthening the country's manufacturing sector in collaboration with new technologies that were being spearheaded by the nation's startups as India's fast-growing economy offered a huge market.
Citing World Economic Forum figures, the Finance Minister said that there would be 140 million middle-income households and over 40 million high networth individuals in India by 2030.
This provides a huge opportunity for manufacturing companies as such a large market can only be found in five or six jurisdictions clubbed together and it was rare to find it in a single country.
Addressing the FICCI's 96th annual general meeting, Sitharaman said that while the services sector is growing and the country had taken huge strides in the IT sector, there was a need to expand the manufacturing sector, for the nation to march ahead.
She said while there was a long recession looming in the West and exports would be affected, it is important to focus on the domestic market and go for new technology in partnership with local startups which had filed a record number of patents. The number of patents has jumped by 3 times in recent years, she pointed out.
Such a partnership would benefit both industry and startups and take the nation ahead. Industry must keep a close watch on the innovations that startups were coming up with and avail of this opportunity by forging partnerships, she added.
The Finance Minister said that the government was also providing a technology platform and environment in which all these innovations were taking place.
Sitharaman also said that many western companies would be looking for investments in India to escape the slowdown in their home countries.
Talking about climate change, she said the government was aware of the burden that industry may have to bear, and was working to reduce this burden.