India presents itself as investment magnet for Spanish businesses

By Sarkaritel December 4, 2014 12:21

India presents itself as investment magnet for Spanish businesses

Madrid, Dec 4  More than 100 representatives from the Spanish and Indian public and private sectors got together Wednesday in Madrid to strengthen their countries’ ties at a time when the Asian giant has become a global “centre of gravity” for development with huge opportunities for investment.

The two-day meeting is taking place within the framework of the 1st Spain-India Forum organised by the Spain-India Council Foundation under the theme, “Cities and Sustainable Transport for the Next Generations”.

“The Forum is a magnificent opportunity to consolidate our bilateral relations and bring together Spanish and Indian society,” said Antonio Escámez, president of the Spain-India Council Foundation, at the event’s inauguration.

“It’s clear that the global centre of gravity is moving towards the East,” he said, “and Spain is ready to boost its relations with India.”

Currently, 230 Spanish companies are active in India and bilateral trade last year reached 3.3 billion euros ($4.06 billion) with the Asian nation enjoying a 1.2 billion-euro trade advantage, according to official Spanish government figures.

Also taking part at the Forum’s inauguration was India’s Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) secretary-general Didar Singh, who emphasised that “Asia is the engine of the 21st century in the short term” and especially India with its one billion inhabitants and a market of 700 million people.

However, he said India needed to invest heavily in infrastructure to improve competitiveness and take advantage of investment opportunities.

Didar Singh referred to a mission underway in his country, “Make in India”, which is aimed at easing business, and mentioned the “economic corridors” project which is based on improving infrastructure and creating an entrepreneurial environment in smart cities which he described as a great business opportunity.

The Ficci secretary-general also spoke of schemes to boost India’s training programmes to put 500 million qualified workers into the job market in the coming years.

Didar Singh, whose organisation has 250,000 businesses as members, announced that the next forum would be held in New Delhi.

Tallen Kumar, the CEO of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, in charge of industrial policy and promotion at the Indian ministry of industries and trade, highlighted sustainable cities with good transport networks as being “fundamental for us” and invited Spanish businesses to invest in these projects.

Among India’s challenges, he said, was to transform the industrial sector into an engine for the economy which now lags behind agriculture and services.

In this regard, he stressed the role of the industrial corridors, although he cautioned that “we want to be the basic engine in this development, but with sustainability”.

Kumar said India needed to bet on quality infrastructure and emphasised the work the Indian government was carrying out in deregulating to facilitate administrative processes and in reforming the labour market.

Another challenge for India, he mentioned, was urbanisation as there was already a huge population movement from rural areas to the cities and calculated that in 2050, there would be 700 million people living in urban environments.

“The industrial corridors will be the solution,” he said, with the goal of reaching integral development with sustainable cities linked by state-of-the-art transport systems.

Kumar also stressed the “commercial model” of urbanisation, saying there would be no government subsidies but “the soul of the city” would be taken into account, along with “good governance.”

Offering wonderful opportunities for foreign companies, including Spanish firms, were energy management, water, public transport, security and waste management.

Participating at the forum inauguration on the Spanish side were Director General of Foreign Policy, Ignacio Ybañez, and Director General of Trade and Investment at the ministry of economy, Antonio José Fernández-Martos, who spoke of India’s potential for Spanish investment.

Over the two days of the Forum, representatives from Indian cities like New Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore, and Spanish cities like Madrid and Barcelona, will discuss with business people and bankers from both countries urban development, sustainability and transport.

By Sarkaritel December 4, 2014 12:21