Foreign nations extend business hand to India

Gurgaon, Nov 4 (IANS) Several countries, including Canada and Singapore, extended hands for business partnership with India at the 'Invest North' conclave organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), a spokesperson said Sunday.

"India's advantage of being the fourth-largest economy in the world in terms of purchasing power parity can be leveraged by adopting certain key measures like fast tracking infrastructure projects, procedural reforms to enable speedy clearances, streamlined systems and an enabling business climate," said Richard Rekhy, co-chairman of CII Invest North 2012 and CEO, KPMG India.

He was speaking on the second day of the 'Invest North' conference, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) at Gurgaon, the suburban industrial and business hub of Delhi.

Rekhy said there was need to also project and market India as an attractive investment destination, a conducive workplace.

Foreign investment in India, which stood at $201 billion, and foreign trade, which is at 46 percent of the GDP, have also immense potential to grow further, he said.

"We in Canada look at India as a source of innovation and vast talent and are keen to build stronger Canada-India relations. Stephen Harper, our prime minister, is also coming to India Sunday with 160 business delegates," said Rana Sarkar, president & CEO, Canada-India Business Council (CIBC)."It is envisaged that by 2032, nearly 50 percent of India's population would be below 25 years of age, so India would be the economy to reckon with. We strongly want to be part of this India growth story," he added.

"The recent gas partnerships between the two countries have opened avenues for gas trade at reasonable rates," he noted. He had a few words of advice too: "India should enhance the competitiveness of its corporations like ONGC to compete with foreign state-owned units in acquiring gas and fuel fields."

Williams Nkurunziza, High Commissioner of Rwanda to India, said that his country engaged in trade with India worth $67 billion a year. He expressed confidence that the volume of trade could rise.

"The East African community, comprising five countries, have an agreement of duty free movement, which is an opportunity to explore strong business ties between India and Rwanda," he said.

Benjamin Yad, regional director, South Asia Group, International Enterprise, Singapore, said: "Singapore has invested and partnered in various projects in India like the IT technology park in Bangalore, the manufacturing park in Haryana, the airport project in the Northeast and the water treatment project in the western states of India. We are keen to further enrich our relations with the India."

Tomasz Wisniewski, economic counsellor with the Polish embassy in New Delhi, said: "Poland's companies have invested twice as much as Indian companies have invested there. This is testimony to India's attractiveness as an investment destination."

"We invite Indian companies to enter into partnerships and joint ventures with their Poland counterparts as our country is presently undergoing Europe's largest privatisation process and there are huge opportunities for business. Poland is Europe's largest producer of coal and has expertise in IT, energy, automotive and power sector, providing good scope of mutual partnerships between India and Poland," he said.

Jahangir Bin Alam, secretary, India-Bangladesh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: "Bangladesh, the bridge to southeast and ASEAN countries, is looking at substantial joint ventures and mutually beneficial business ties with India. Removing all barriers, we have opened our economy and have eliminated the licensing system."

Indo-Asian News Service

pradeep/ros/vt

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