Remarks by Amb Sibi George at the Seminar on Corporate Tax Laws in Kuwait, 18 February 2021
Esteemed Panel Speaker for the Event, Mr. Ravi Kumar, RSM Albazie,
Distinguished Businessmen from India and Kuwait,
Distinguished Guests from the Media Community in Kuwait,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good Afternoon to all of you,
It gives me a great pleasure to address you all today and welcome you all to today’s event ‘Seminar on Corporate Tax Laws in Kuwait’.
This event is part of a special series of business knowledge dissemination series being organized by the Embassy under the broader theme of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat” for the benefit of the Indian Diaspora especially the Indian Business and Entrepreneurial Community.
India is a reservoir of entrepreneurial talent and potential. It is no wonder then that an International Agency monitoring global entrepreneurship trends had rated India as one of the two top entrepreneurial country in the world. It is a testimony to the enterprising ability of our people and the ingenuity of our businesses who have succeeded in all spheres of trade and commerce around the world.
On account of conducive business environment, entrepreneurial activity has picked up in India. In 2020, India was among the top 50 innovative economies. Today, India is the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world and is home to 21 unicorns valued at USD 73.2 billion.
A few days ago, another important policy reform was undertaken by the Government with the opening up of map and geo-spatial data. This is an important step in strengthening Tech Startup Ecosystem in India. In the broader context, this step propels us forward in the mission of realizing a self-reliant India. With the Government strongly committed to continuous policy reforms guided by the mantra “Minimum Government Maximum Governance”, it is an opportune time for our entrepreneurial talent to realize their full latent potential. Our young entrepreneurs, our startups, should take full liberty to take advantage of the new opportunities created in the world.
With no other market offering more growth opportunities than India over the next 20 years and the fact that the drivers of Indian growth are deeply structural and sustainable, there is no denying that the future of global economy will be led by the performance of the Indian economy. Many of you would be aware that the International Monetary Fund recently projected that India would grow by 11.5% in FY21-22. This makes India the only major economy that is poised to post a double digit growth amidst the ongoing pandemic.
The sharp V-shaped recovery is the result of the conducive reforms & facilitation measures introduced by the Government of India to encourage greater global involvement. Government policies since 2014 have been directed towards bringing necessary structural changes in the economy. Union Budget 2021-22 was another watershed moment for India. With an investment growth led budget we reaffirmed the arrival of “New India”, an India which is self-reliant and an India ready to assume its rightful place in the global economic order in partnership with our friendly countries like Kuwait.
The last decade or so has seen the emergence of ‘Brand India’ at the global stage. Embarking on the path of globalization, Indian businesses have established credible presence in markets around the globe. This evolution of Indian multinationals spans diverse sectors from pharmaceuticals to automotive to hotels to textiles to engineering goods and entertainment. Indian businesses, entrepreneurs and businessmen are expanding their global footprint, including in this friendly Gulf region which is part of our extended neighbourhood. Indian enterprises are becoming world-popular suppliers of cutting edge products and services.
Our diaspora around the world is at the centre of this spectacular rise of global Indian entrepreneurial activity. With regards to our diaspora, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi had stated and I quote, “There are over 30 million overseas Indians living abroad...their footprint are all over the world...Indians abroad are valued not for their strength in numbers ...they are respected for their contributions to India and societies where they live. In foreign lands and communities across the globe, the Indian diaspora represents for their values. They are hardworking, law abiding and peace loving, and are role models for other communities.” Unquote.
Specifically for the Indian Community in this region, Hon’ble Prime Minister had stated and I quote, “India is proud of our diaspora in the Gulf. Indians working in the Gulf should know that the full support of my Government is there to ensure their welfare.” Unquote.
Many Indian companies have reasonable presence in the State of Kuwait. Indian brands are well known and the exceptional quality of Indian products are well acknowledged not only in the Kuwaiti market but also across the globe. Indian entrepreneurs have run successful business ventures in this friendly State of Kuwait.
I am happy that in recent weeks our bilateral partnership in the important field of healthcare has further deepened with the arrival of Made in India vaccine Covishield in Kuwait. I am also happy to see the opening of new Indian business enterprises in recent weeks in Kuwait including in financial sector, food and healthcare sector.
Today’s event is an effort by the Embassy to deepen this economic engagement between India and Kuwait and also to disseminate technical information on the Tax system in Kuwait for the benefit of all the Indian businesses currently operating here and also for the benefit of budding entrepreneurs who wish to venture into commercial activities.
I will now leave it to our expert speaker of the day to delve more into details of the Tax system and help us understand the intricacies and nuances from the point of experts and practitioners. I am sure that we will benefit from this discussion.
Before I conclude, I would like to take this opportunity to announce the launch of “Indian Financial Bulletin”. This bulletin is part of Embassy’s business promotion and outreach efforts. It will provide a snapshot of the Indian financial markets, the latest developments in the economic, trade and investments domain and a compilation of relevant financial news from India.