"I have been saying that the 21st century belongs to Asia. Together, ASEAN's ten member countries form an economic powerhouse. ASEAN has emerged as one of the largest economic zones in the world. Last fifteen years have seen your rapid and yet stable growth", PM Modi said addressing the ASEAN Business and Investment Summit here.

Talking about the importance of reforms in India, Prime Minister Modi said that the nation was in dire need of reforms before his government took office.

"My government took office nearly 18 months ago. The Indian economy faced serious challenges. A high fiscal deficit, a high current account deficit, a large number of stalled infrastructure projects and persistent inflation were among them. We asked ourselves the question - Is it a reform just to increase the measured rate of GDP growth? Or is it to bring about a transformation in society? My answer is clear: we must reform to transform," he said.

Asserting that India was doing better than when his government took office 18 months ago, the Prime Minister said that the nation's GDP growth was up and the inflation was down, among other things.

"The Economist magazine this week stated that 'India is in healthier shape than any other big emerging economy. However, as I said, our aim is not mere reform, but 'reform to transform'. Macro-economic stability is good. But to transform India, much more needs to be done. We have begun a series of concerted steps. These include structural and institutional reforms," he said.

Discussing the new reforms in India, the Prime Minister briefed the Summit about a series of simple but 'powerful structural' reforms launched by his government.

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