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Home » Finance News » 'Business confidence in India on the rise'

'Business confidence in India on the rise'

Washington/New York: Business confidence in India is on the rise, defying the global downturn, says the country's apex business chamber as India pitches here strongly to attract more foreign investment in the core sectors of industry.

"Certainly there is a movement in foreign institutional investment and foreign direct investment has also begun to pick up," said Amit Mitra, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI).

"While rest of the world is shrinking, core sectors of steel, cement and auto> industry in India are beginning to grow," Mitra told IANS on phone ahead of an institutional investors conference in New York starting Thursday.

Noting that the FICCI business confidence survey index for India which had plunged to 44 in the third quarter of 2008-09 had risen to 64 in the first quarter and 67 in the second quarter, Mitra said: "We are here to further kindle these forces."

Besides supporting the institutional investors conference, FICCI has also organised a round table for US businessmen Thursday with TKA Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister, Ajay Shankar, Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy Promotion, and Meera Shankar, India's ambassador to US.

It's also hosting a dinner Thursday with India's Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for major power companies including General Electric and Price Whitney.

These meetings are being organised ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's state visit here in November.

Meanwhile, Kamal Nath, India's Minister for Road Transport and Highways held a roundtable in America's financial capital focusing US investment attention on India's roads and highways. India's road network of 3.32 million km is second only to the United States and is in need of major upgrades.

Speaking to premier US engineering, construction and investment firms, Nath said: "This is one of the most important projects the Government of India has ever undertaken. Roads and Highways cross the country and touch every facet of life, as well as provide vital connectivity for trade and commerce."

India is set to launch the world's biggest Public Private Partnership programme that will result in the development of 15,000 km of roads and highways over the next three years at a cost of $70 billion. The current five year plan calls for $500 billion in upgrades to India's infrastructure sector-with about one-third of the investment coming from the private sector

The roundtable was hosted by the US-India Business Council, in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

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