Even in downturn,Kamal Nath sees $30 bn in FDI

Exuding confidence in the Indian economy and its resilience,commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath today said despite the global downturn and the massive deleveraging seen across the world...

New Delhi | Published:January 20, 2009 2:50 am

Exuding confidence in the Indian economy and its resilience,commerce and industry minister Kamal Nath today said despite the global downturn and the massive deleveraging seen across the world,India would continue to attract foreign capital. He said he still expected total foreign direct investment inflows in the current financial year to reach $30 billion. “I hope we will exceed $30 billion…I do believe that (the) momentum will continue,” said Nath.

Speaking at the annual Partnership Summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) here,Nath said that the government would continue to add adequate funds to the economy and provide stimulus to its various industries as and when needed. Commerce department has been planning a second stimulus package for the export sector for some time,and Nath said he would be meeting various export promotion councils and Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) on January 21 to discuss their concerns and needs.

Commenting on the dormant status of the Doha Development Round of the World Trade Organisation negotiations,Nath once again brought up the issue of the massive farm subsidies in the US and other developed nations and said,“We are looking for an agreement that adds a notch or two to our growth rate and doesn’t temper it.”

Given that total FDI inflows for the April-October period stand at $18.7 billion,the country would need another $11 billion FDI in the last five months of the fiscal in the midst of a global credit freeze to reach the desired target. The government had initially set a target of $35 billion,but had to bring it down owing to the global financial slowdown and falling business confidence.

Despite the slowdown since October,both Nath and junior industry minister Ashwani Kumar remain confident that the global investors would be upbeat on India even in the midst of the credit crunch. Addressing the India-UK Business Council here,Kumar said,“FDI during 2008-09 will be $35 billion… We were planning $40 billion but for the events….”

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