India invites foreign investment in manufacturing

By agencies   |   Tuesday, 20 June 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: India today asked foreign entrepreneurs to take advantage of the investor-friendly atmosphere in the country and said it was the right time to pump money in the country, especially in its manufacturing sector.

"Those who go in early would have an advantage," Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Ashwani Kumar told more than 150 CEOs, entrepreneurs and businessmen at a breakfast meeting organized by the prestigious Asia Society.

The minister pointed out that the foreign companies that have set up establishments in India have never lost money and many of them are seeking to expand their activities in a big way.

Admitting that infrastructure needed to be improved, he pointed out that the government plans to spend $150 billion over next 7 to 10 years including $22 billion in the power sector.

Besides undertaking major expansion in power production, Kumar said, India was also modernizing airports and seaports to sustain the manufacturing sector.

Asked about reforms in the labor laws, the minister said that they would be made investor-friendly though they might not go the extent of "indiscriminate hiring and firing." "No country allows that," he said.

The regulations that hinder investment or create problem for the investors have been reformed and whatever lacunae remain would be removed.

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