India woos global investors with promise of more reforms

Last Updated: Wed, Jan 23, 2013 22:46 hrs

Davos: Promising more reforms in the next couple of months, Indian ministers today presented the country as an attractive investment destination with stable and transparent policies to global investors gathered at the World Economic Forum annual meet.

Reflecting the optimism, India has a strong presence for the meeting at this snow-laden resort town, with four ministers including Kamal Nath and Anand Sharma, and a host of business leaders -- Mukesh Ambani, Anand Mahindra, Sunil Mittal and Uday Kotak to name a few.

After meeting senior executives of top companies including Novartis, BAE Systems and Royal Philips Electronics, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said foreign companies are enthused about the Indian growth story.

Sharma, a key player in pushing FDI reforms, also assured global investors of a transparent and stable policy regime.

"During my meetings here with top CEOs of various companies, they have appreciated the recent policy decisions regarding multi-brand retail, civil aviation and banking amendments," Sharma said.

His ministerial colleague and Urban Development Minister Kamal Nath told PTI the government would roll out more policy reforms "in the next couple of months".

Nath also said that "stress and distress" are in the Western economies and not in India.

Unveiling a slew of reform initiatives, the Indian government has liberalised FDI policy in sectors like retail, aviation sectors and last week initiated partial deregulation of diesel prices. The steps came as India's growth is slowing.

On the broader canvas, WEF discussions were primarily on ways to rejuvenate the sagging global economy and creation of more jobs amid persisting financial woes hurting growth.

Global business leaders emphasised the need for a 'golden triangle' collaboration between governments, companies and the civil society to rejuvenate the global economy, create jobs and fight corruption.

Setting the platform for broader discussions at WEF meet -- whose theme is 'Resilient Dynamism' -- Coca-Cola Company Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent, also co-Chair of WEF meet, said that growth and job creation are going to be key for the global economy going forward.

"We need to ask a question how can business, government and civil society rise to the challenge and create a golden triangle," Kent said.

The chief of Swiss banking major UBS Axel Weber, another WEF co-Chair, said there is an opportunity "if we get it right in the politics, in the business and elsewhere".

A key factor in overall global economy, banking sector also was a major talking point with many leading bankers calling for new strategies to move forward while doing away with overburdening regulatory issues.

JP Morgan Chief Jamie Dimon said the banks are still doing the right things, but there was lot of misinformation out there in the public to present them as devils.

Speaking at a session, Indian industrialist Anand Mahindra said that business people need not always look for certainty.

Meanwhile, a survey by global consultancy PwC showed that chief executives of Indian companies have emerged as the most optimistic lot in the world, in terms of expectations for improvement in global economy this year and revenue prospects of their own businesses in the longer term.

More from Sify: