Making a strong pitch for bringing investments, President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said India is fourth most attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment for 2014-16 owing to easing of restrictions, growth and investor friendly atmosphere promoted by the government.
“India has emerged as one of the largest global economies and the resilience of our economy is evident from the fact that the impact of the global financial crisis has been far less severe in India than other countries,” the President said while addressing Business Meeting at Finpro.
“The strong growth performance that marked our economy in the past decade, when we grew at an average rate of 7.6 per cent per year, has generated keen investor interest in India. Though our GDP growth during the last two years at sub-five
per cent was rather subdued, it was still higher than most major economies barring China,” he said.
Mukherjee said there are now positive signals emanating that suggest a recovery is round the corner.
“With measures aimed at stimulating greater investor interest, strengthening macro-economic fundamentals and rejuvenating the infrastructure sector, the Indian economy is poised to once again achieve a seven-eight per cent rate of growth,” he said.
“Presently, our Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy is widely seen to be amongst the most liberal in the emerging economies, allowing up to 100 per cent FDI under the automatic route in several of our sectors and activities,” he said, adding that it makes India an attractive destination for investments.
The President said a growing India offers opportunities across sectors in an investor friendly environment for Finnish companies and is keen to further invigorate our bilateral engagement under the newly formed government which has chosen infrastructure and manufacturing as two key focus areas.
“Tourism is another area of immense potential in our bilateral relations. You would be happy to know that tourists from Finland can now obtain visas on arrival at Indian airports,” he said.
Mukherjee said the infrastructure sector is a focus area for our economy with over a trillion US Dollars envisaged to be invested on infrastructure in coming years.
The President said India has set up facilities and schemes such as Industrial Corridors, the Industrial Infrastructure Up-gradation Scheme, National Investment and Manufacturing Zones, Industrial clusters and Smart Cities to encourage investment in infrastructure.
The President said in spite of the global economic downturn, bilateral trade has seen a substantial increase and has reached approximately USD 1.5 billion in 2013, which is an encouraging development.
Mukherjee said the Indian government is committed to a business-friendly environment – impediment free, predictable, facilitatory and transparent.
“To that end, India has embarked on an ambitious ‘Make in India’ program to make the country an investor-friendly destination by setting up single window clearances, e-Business portals and Investor Facilitation Cells. I am confident that Finnish investors shall take optimum advantage of the new policies unveiled,” he said.
Earlier, addressing the Finnish Parliament ‘Eduskunta’, Mukherjee appreciated Finland’s support for India’s candidature for a permanent seat in an expanded UN Security Council.