News / Economy

India Worried About Declining Foreign Investment

An Indian worker hammers on a steel cupboard at a metal wardrobe factory in Mumbai, India, Oct. 12, 2012.
An Indian worker hammers on a steel cupboard at a metal wardrobe factory in Mumbai, India, Oct. 12, 2012.
Anjana Pasricha
Two foreign companies have recently canceled plans to build massive steel plants in India.  Their pullout has led to fresh concerns about the country's ability to attract foreign investment and reinforces India's reputation as a tough place to do business.

Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, said huge delays in acquiring land due to local protests, and uncertainties over iron ore supplies compelled it to cancel its $8.5 billion steel plant project in Orissa state.

Posco, which shelved a proposed $ 5.3 billion steel plant in southern Karnataka state, cited similar hurdles.   
 
The two mega plants were planned when India’s booming economy was expected to devour steel for infrastructure projects and an expanding manufacturing industry. But as India’s economy slows down, demand for steel has cooled.
 
“Cars are not selling, infrastructure projects are not taking off, the government is not spending as much on projects,” complained Nishith Sharma of SteelGuru in New Delhi.
 
According to economists, the cancellation of the projects highlights a bigger problem: ensnared in red tape for years, investors are getting disenchanted with Asia’s third largest economy.
 
Like Posco and ArcelorMittal, the main hurdles investors face are huge delays in acquiring land, onerous environmental regulations, and access to reliable supplies of power and key minerals such as coal and iron ore. It can often take a company eight to ten years to secure approvals to start operations. Worse still, investors have to grapple with frequent policy changes.    
 
Economist Rajiv Kumar at the Center for Policy Research in New Delhi said India is losing its allure as a business destination. 
 
“A risk is something companies can factor in, but uncertainty where you have changing goal posts, or when you can't predict any outcome for anything, that is the major hassle that not just the foreign but the domestic investors as well face in India," Kumar said. "This is a fact today in 2012-2013, more capital was invested from India abroad than the other way around.”
 
Last year, foreign direct investment in India fell to about $26 billion - down by nearly one third compared to the previous year.   
 
The plummeting investment has prompted the government to announce more reforms to lure investors. The government decided in mid-July to ease ownership restrictions on several industries, including telecommunications.    
 
But economists say these steps alone are unlikely to attract foreign investors. They point out that although the government relaxed barriers to foreign investment in retail, insurance and aviation sectors last year, hardly any investment has come in.
 
Chief economist D.K. Joshi at CRISIL in Mumbai said investors are looking for stable policies, faster project approvals and a turnaround in the economy.  
 
“What matters for foreign investor is certainty of business environment," the economist explained. "What matters also is how fast you are growing, we have slipped a little bit on those fronts, so investment into India has become a little less attractive than it used to be.”
 
The country’s diminishing allure is not good news for India.  It desperately needs foreign investment both to shore up its finances as it grapples with a large deficit and to boost an economy growing at its slowest pace in a decade. But there is a silver lining. Although Posco and ArcelorMittal have walked away from two large projects, they say they will pursue other projects planned in the country.

You May Like

Video Analysts: Beijing Parade a 'Bazaar' of Stolen Technology

Show commemorating victory over Japan in World War II involved long, medium and short range missiles, a range of tanks and 200 fighter aircraft More

Bernie Sanders Surge Reflects US Shift on Socialism

Although most analysts say it is unlikely he will get the Democratic nomination, Sanders' campaign opens up questions and issues that are otherwise marginalized More

Video On IS Frontline, Kurdish Fighters Ready for Offensive

Peshmerga soldiers say although they need more heavy artillery, they are poised to take the fight to the Islamic State extremists on their turf More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 24, 2013 5:32 AM
Where are BRICS countries going ? India and South africa are going to drop out from them first ? How about Brasil?, Russia?
China is the only one which is exceptionally keeping growth ?

I heard Japanese motor industry Suzuki has been doing well in India. Its president recently said that he will continue to produce cars in India employing local residents eventhough weakened Yen urges Suzuki costly to transfer factories from overseas back to Japan. I suppose there is some merit for Suzuki to keep running factories in India even taking accout of bribery and corruption et cetera.

by: Mehtasaab from: Washington, DC
July 23, 2013 1:33 PM
I agree with Davis. It is a dangerous zone to invest money in India.
Politicians are in competition to increase their foreign reserve in swiss bank accounts. There is a bill for anti corruption on the floor,
but politician want sign. They know that they will lose. If Modi's government win next election then he will do better. He is not corrupted and a business man. Modi put state of Gujarat on fast track. India needs leader like Modi.

by: Davis K. Thanjan from: New York
July 23, 2013 9:50 AM
Even thinking of doing any construction project is dangerous because of bureaucracy, nepotism, bribery, political protests, environmental regulations, problems of acquisition of land for projects, and barriers for foreign investment. Even if all the above hurdles are overcome, political parties are waiting for labor strikes to shut down any manufacturing company, especially if it is foreign owned manufacturing plant. Beware of foreign investment in any manufacturing projects in India.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outragei
X
Henry Ridgwell
September 04, 2015 11:36 AM
The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Drowned Migrant Toddler Photo Triggers European Outrage

The harrowing picture of a drowned three-year-old Syrian boy washed up on a Turkish beach appears to have galvanized Europe’s leaders into doing more to address the refugee crisis. France, Germany and Italy issued a joint call Thursday for compulsory quotas of refugees for all EU states. But there were chaotic scenes in Hungary as police tried to force migrants off a train heading for Austria. Henry Ridgwell has more. And a caution, some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
Video

Video Russians Observe 11th Anniversary of Beslan School Attack

This week, Russians have been observing the 11th anniversary of the attack by Islamic militants on a school in Russia's North Caucasus region that killed more than 330 hostages, including 186 children. The three-day siege and massacre that started on September 1, 2004 took place in Beslan, a town in the republic of North Ossetia, and is one of the bloodiest terrorist acts ever in Russia. VOA's Mike Richman reports.
Video

Video Native Americans Debate: Father Serra, Saint or Sinner?

Pope Francis will canonize an 18th century missionary to Spanish California during a papal visit to the United States this month.  But some Native Americans have criticized the elevation to sainthood of the missionary priest, Junipero Serra. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Calais School Offers Another Face of Europe’s Migrant Crisis

Europe is facing mounting criticism over how it’s handling its biggest migration crisis since World War II. But not all Europeans believe building walls or passing repressive policies are the answer. A school for migrants in the French port city of Calais, is opening doors and building bonds across nationalities. VOA's Lisa Bryant reports.
Video

Video Kurdish Fighters on IS Frontline Ready for Offensive

Finger on the trigger, the Kurdish Peshmerga soldier stared across the dust at a village taken over by Islamic State extremists. The Kurdistan’s Khazir frontline, just 45 minutes from the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. And at this point, the militants were less than two kilometers away. VOA's Sharon Behn reports.
Video

Video China Announces Troop Cuts at WWII Parade

Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday announced plans to cut the world’s largest military force by 300,000 troops. The announcement was made during a massive military parade to commemorate victory over Japan in World War II. The event was shunned by most Western leaders and for some is raising fresh concerns about China’s military ambitions. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Russia-Japan Relations Cool as Putin Visits China for WWII Anniversary

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing for commemorations of the 70th anniversary of China's WWII victory over Japan. Putin is expected to visit Japan later this year, but tensions between Tokyo and Moscow over islands disputed since the war, and sanctions over Ukraine, could pour cold water on the plan. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Yemen ‘on Brink of Disaster’ as Medical Shortages Soar

Aid agencies warn Yemen is on the brink of humanitarian disaster – with up to half a million children facing severe malnutrition, and hospitals running out of basic medicines. There are fears Yemen's civil war could escalate as the coalition led by Saudi Arabia tries to drive back Houthi rebels, who seized control of much of the country earlier this year. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Apps Helping Kenyan Businesses Stay Ahead of Counterfeiters

Counterfeit goods in Kenya cost the government as much as $1 billion each year in lost tax revenues. The fake goods also hurt entrepreneurs who find it hard to carve out a niche in the market and retain customers. But as Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi, information technology is being used to try to beat the problem.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8978
JPY
USD
119.24
GBP
USD
0.6567
CAD
USD
1.3230
INR
USD
66.495

Rates may not be current.