Infrastructure still top-of-mind in India
On Monday, we kick-off the 2010 India Investment Summit. We’ll have exclusive interviews in Mumbai and Bangalore. In 2006 we held the first Reuters India Investment Summit. It was my first time in India. I’ve had the privilege to return every year. How time flies. Here we are four years later. Some of the key players may have changed but the big, over-arching theme is still the same: Infrastructure. It’s the key to realizing the country’s potential but bureaucracy, tough financing and hesitant overseas investment have slowed development in the sector, calling into question the future of India as a powerhouse.
India has had only mixed success in its efforts to accelerate construction of roads, bridges and power plants. The statistics are mind-blowing…the country is growing at 8.5% and has a population of 1.2 billion that is making a mad-dash from the countryside to sprawling cities. Call them growing pains…in India’s expanding cities there is an acute need to speed project approvals, implement new financing models and attract overseas investment for much needed infrastructure. But, while the business opportunity is tremendous investors looking to India as a way to play the emerging markets are wary given the history of missed deadlines and red tape that makes getting projects completed a challenge.
Is red tape getting better or worse? Which sectors are attracting most interest? How do returns compare with similar projects globally? How do sector companies attract foreign investment in large projects? Are the challenges forcing investors and developers to look overseas instead?
These topics and more will be the key points of discussion at the Reuters India Investment Summit in Mumbai and Bangalore September 27-29.
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