India has potential to absorb $700bn worth of foreign investments: MJ Akbar

 17 Apr 2018 - 0:00

India has potential to absorb $700bn worth of foreign investments: MJ Akbar

By Satish Kanady I The Peninsula

DOHA: With a 7.5-8 percent projected annual growth rate, and huge pipeline of infrastructure projects, the ‘New India’ is a major destination for global investors, India’s Minister of State for External Affairs MJ Akbar  stated yesterday.

The Indian Minister said his country has the capacity to absorb up to an estimated $700bn in foreign investment by 2022. India is planning to develop 100 new cities and 200 airports across the country. This is in addition to the planned launch of massive infrastructure projects, Akbar said while addressing the opening session of the Qatar India Business and Investment Conference (QIBIC).

Opportunities for foreign investors are huge in India’s real estate, health, food processing and retail sectors. An estimated 400 million to 500 million new, active consumers are expected to emerge in India in the next five years.

On the investment opportunities in India’s health sector, Akbar said the country is in need of tens of thousands of hospitals in the coming years. India’s health sector is an ideal portfolio where foreign investors can make attractive returns.  India is ready to offer all sorts of financial guarantees to the international investors.

On Qatar-India relations, the Indian Minister said the historical ties between the two friendly nations are bolstered by its bilateral trade. “Energy is crucial element in India-Qatar relationship. Gas is very fundamental to our

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of energy sector. Because he believes gas is most important element which the country can change the people’s quality of life, particularly of those who lies in the bottom f the economic pyramid”. India’s demand for natural gas is projected to grow at an exponential rate going forward. In this context, as the world’s one of the largest gas exporters, Qatar is a very important partner for India.

The Indian Minister described QIBIC as a platform that lays foundation of the most significant bridge between two sovereign nations. Relations between Qatar and India have always been good and the last years have been marked with several visits and desire to work together and build shared prosperity.” Now it is time for business leaders to deliver on the promise of political leaders.

Governments are enablers, they clear conditions in which businesspeople can find partnerships, and now we are depending on those business leaders to strengthen the bilateral trade and investment opportunities”, he said.