Rush to India, PwC tells global companies

February 19th, 2009 - 10:48 am ICT by IANS  

Toronto, Feb 19 (IANS) Engineering and construction companies should rush to India as it offers huge opportunities for their future growth, says a new report by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The report released here Wednesday said India offered unlimited opportunities as it needed investment of $500 billion for infrastructure development in the next three years alone.

“Foreign companies who do not acknowledge the opportunity now may miss out on a critical opportunity to establish a long-term presence in one of the world’s largest growth markets,” said the report, adding that India will still post a growth of 7-7.5 percent this year despite the global meltdown.

Liberalisation of regulations and “a deliberate strategy on the part of the Indian government to develop infrastructure and promote foreign direct investment (FDI) spells opportunity for foreign engineering and construction companies”, it added.

According to PwC, India will become the world’s third largest economy by 2050.

Being its second largest economic activity after agriculture, construction in India is set to boom as the country plans to spend $167 billion on electricity, $92 billion on roads, and $65 billion on railway in the next three years.

“The developing services and manufacturing sectors, increasing consumer demand and government commitments to rejuvenate agriculture and rural areas have spurred increases in rail, road and port traffic, necessitating further infrastructure improvements,” the report said.

Public private partnerships (PPPs) are also booming as investments worth $150 billion are in the pipeline, it said.

Simplified FDI approval process by India saw a surge in international interest in PPPs in 2008, the report said.

“Already a number of firms from Canada, Europe, Australia, China, Malaysia and Korea have made their presence felt in India. Toyo Engineering, Jacobs H&G, Uhde, Tecnimont, and Aker Kvaerner are already leading players in the region.

“An example of a Canadian company making the move into India is SNC-Lavalin, which has acquired Pipecon Consultants Pvt. Ltd, based in Mumbai, and Span Consultants Pvt. Ltd, an engineering firm headquartered in New Delhi with local offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Kolkata,” the report said.

Michael Clifford, PwC Canada’s engineering and construction expert, said: “The opportunities to develop a significant business in India are extremely promising for construction companies with roads, ports and airports, railways and power standing out as particular bright spots.”

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