“India is a bright spot; and a very important element in the resilience of India has been a paradigm shift in public service delivery leading to sustainable and inclusive growth and I think that investors must take note of this as the reason behind India as a strengthened partner to the UK,” said Suman Bery, vice chairman of NITI Aayog – India’s premier public policy think tank.
During his visit to the UK, Bery spelt out the compelling case for India as an attractive investment hub at an India Investors Showcase organised by the Indian High Commission in London this week. Against the backdrop of the ongoing UK-India free trade agreement (FTA) negotiations, he noted: “I think an aspiration of the FTA should be to make India an integrated partner, in both directions, into capabilities in both research and in technology that Britain brings to the table… few companies who have committed wholeheartedly to India and navigated the complexities of the society have regretted it, either in terms of profitability or fair treatment.”
He called upon the audience of industry experts and investors to not be taken in by the “hysteria and headlines” of exaggerated tensions and conflicts as India gears up with its G20 presidency motto of “One earth, One family, One future’.
He described NITI – which stands for National Institution for Transforming India – as an honest broker in cooperative and competitive federalism, in a country which is at least as diverse as the European Union (EU), with many Indian states the size of European nations.
“India with a popular government operating in a stable, democratic institutional environment which is well poised to present itself at a vexed moment in global geopolitics and with both a large talent pool and a large market offers strong fundamentals for taking India seriously,” added Bery.
The showcase also heard from active international investors in India and focussed on the sectors of infrastructure investment and green mobility in expert-led panel discussions steered by dealmaker Alpesh Patel.
Vikram Doraiswami, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, said: “The larger trade story is a good one and we look forward to ensuring that trade relationship and the investment relationship that we are developing between India and the UK continues to expand.
“What will be transformative going ahead will be the green solutions, for India’s own sake and for all of us on this planet, and there again the UK has a critical role to play.”
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Rahul Agarwal, vice-president of Invest India, invited investors to connect with the country’s promotion and facilitation agency, which would hand-hold them through their ambitions to expand into the Indian market.
Richard Heald, Chair of the UK India Business Council (UKIBC), reiterated India as “the” bright spot in the global economy, in which the UK has an active role to play.
Shravan Joshi, High Growth Markets, City of London Corporation, said there has been a growing interest in India and the corporation’s role has been to facilitate a better understanding of what India has to offer.
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Prasad Gadkari, Chief Strategy Officer, National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) Ltd, spoke of the multiple products with differing risk curves on offer for the international investor to invest in India’s massive infrastructure expansion.
Lakshmikumaran, Legal Advisor to India’s Department of Commerce, forecast that India’s role as a global supplier is a given.