Wednesday, 20 October, 2021

FDI key to India’s aspiration to be a $5tn economy: Deloitte

NEW DELHI: Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is critically important for India to become a USD 5 trillion economy, Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen said while noting that over two-fifths of the 1,200 business leaders surveyed in the US, UK, Japan and Singapore are planning additional or first-time investments in India.

Referring to the survey, he said India continues to be “one of the most attractive” FDI destinations, report agencies.

“Despite the COVID-19 destruction, inflows hit a record high last year. Business leaders, whom Deloitte surveyed, are preparing to make additional and first-time investments in India,” Renjen told PTI.

The CEO of the top multinational professional services network said, “FDI, I believe, is the key to India’s aspiration to be a USD 5 trillion economy and I think that is eminently doable. I am certainly a very big proponent of India and what can be accomplished.”

The fourth key takeaway from the survey was the value of the skilled workforce and prospects for economic growth, particularly domestic. These are important attractors for FDI, he said.

Also, it is still believed that India is a challenging place to do business. This perception is due to low awareness about government programmes, incentives and reforms, particularly those that have just been announced by the government, he said.

“Of 1,200 business leaders surveyed in the US, UK, Japan and Singapore, 44 per cent are planning additional or first-time investments in India. Among the first-time investors, nearly two-third are planning to do so within the next two years,” Renjen said. The Deloitte CEO noted that although there is a significant crossover, access to India’s domestic market is very important in addition to the country being an export hub.

But the attraction of the domestic market is very important for FDI investment, he said, adding, “Business leaders rated India higher on economic growth and skilled workforce, which are great attractors.”

Observing that government policies are certainly very welcome and are helping in attracting FDI in India, Renjen said some of the recent policy clarification is very good and the stated investment in infrastructure is very positive.

He said 16 per cent of surveyed business leaders in Japan, and nine per cent in Singapore were less aware of the initiatives such as digitization of customers, clearance and production.

“There is a lack of awareness of all the really good things that the government is doing.”