INDIA AIMS TO ATTRACT $100 BN A YEAR IN FDI

May 24, 2024

 

Boosting the share of manufacturing in India's economy has been one of the key promises made by Modi, who is seeking a third term in elections that start on April 19, 2024.

India aims to attract at least $100 billion a year in gross foreign direct investment, a top official said, as the South Asian nation courts investors looking to diversify away from China.

 

“Our target is that we will average at least $100 billion over the next five years. The trend is very positive and upward,” Rajesh Kumar Singh, secretary in the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, said in an interview in New Delhi. 

 

The ambitious target compares with an annual average of more than $70 billion in FDI in the five years through March 2023 and would be a reversal in trend after last year’s decline. Singh said that the figure for the current fiscal year will be “closer to” the $100 billion target.

 

The world’s fastest-growing major economy is appealing to businesses that want to hedge against geopolitical tensions by spreading their operations more broadly — sometimes called a “China plus one” strategy. Companies like Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. have boosted manufacturing in India, taking advantage of incentives offered by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government.

 

Still, foreign investment hasn’t matched the pickup in local manufacturing. Singh attributed that to higher inflation and interest rates in developed nations, as well as geopolitical conflicts and risk perception about emerging markets.

 

India has “unmatched market growth opportunity in a variety of sectors such as electric vehicles, electronic goods or general consumer goods, where penetration levels in our population is far lower than the global average,” he said in the interview Thursday. He vowed that the government will take more steps to ease FDI rules.   

 

Boosting the share of manufacturing in India’s economy has been one of the key promises made by Modi, who is seeking a third term in elections that start on April 19. 

 

The government’s production-linked incentive program has already helped boost manufacturing and reduce India’s dependence on imports for products like tellecommunications and auto components, Singh said. He cited export growth that’s been driven by new industries. “We have at least 39 new medical devices being made in India that were never made,” he said.   

 

The administration has plans for several new industrial corridors that would likely get approval within the first 100 days of a new government, Singh said. He acknowledged that the incentive plan has made slow progress in the steel and textile industries, and cited plans to expand the list of items covered under it. 

 

The government is also working to address delays in granting visas to Chinese vendors and professionals who are needed to install machinery, an issue that’s been raised by businesses, Singh said. 

“Short-term visas should be provided to Chinese technicians, as we are trying to boost our own manufacturing,” he said.

 

Source: Bloomberg

 

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