Infrastructure investment is Indias priority to maintain economic growth: P Chidambaram

November 23rd, 2007 - 2:58 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Nov.23 (ANI): India needs an investment of 475 billion dollars in infrastructure in the next five years to support nine percent growth of which 120 130 billion dollars of the investment requirement would come from foreign investment, said Union Finance Minister P.Chidambaram during an interactive session with Arni Mathiesen, the Finance Minister of Iceland, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), here on Friday.
India has exceeded the goal of 10 billion dollars of foreign direct investment (FDI) last year and will maintain the same growth rate for the current financial year also. India will remain the second largest growing economy after China for this year, Chidambaram said.
Chidambaram said India is concerned about inflation driven by high oil, commodity and food prices but the government is confident of keeping it under control. The high inflow of FDI into the capital market is also a concern for India as the government is cautious and calibrated in opening up the financial market.
Mathiesen, who is accompanied by a business delegation focused on finance and energy, said that geo-thermal energy and hydro power are the major area of concern for Iceland and the country is keen to partner with India in the energy sector. Iceland is one of the few European countries to nearly match Indias growth rate, he informed.
A vital part of the growing bilateral relationship between Iceland and India is trade in services and bilateral investment. The government if India has announced that it would open an Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland in 2008. The government of Iceland had opened an embassy in New Delhi in 2006.
Gunnar Palsson, Iceland’s Ambassador to India, said that the 30 member business delegation from Iceland has come to learn and orient themselves with business opportunities with India.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Bala Kamallakharan, Glitnir Bank, Iceland and Awadh B Giri, CEO, Bhilwara Energy Ltd. to cooperate in the area of geo-thermal energy exploration and development.
Indias vast demand and leadership position in the development of renewable energy technology provides numerous opportunities for energy cooperation between Iceland and India.
Currently, almost 80 percent of all the energy use in Iceland comes from renewable energy with 100 percent of the electricity production deriving from clean energy resources, hydro and geo-thermal. In recent years, both Iceland and India have experienced a boom in their respective financial sectors which provides a scope of cooperation in the field of finance and investment for both the countries. (ANI)

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