India committed to continuing with reforms, he assures businessmen

With bilateral trade set to surpass the $5-billion mark two years ahead of schedule, Vice-President Hamid Ansari on Friday urged Turkish businesspersons to explore the opportunity in infrastructure development being planned by India

Turkey prided itself on having some top companies in infrastructure. And India earmarked $1trillion for infrastructure development over five years from 2012, offering an opportunity for investment, Mr. Ansari said, addressing the Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists of Turkey (TUSKON) here.

“We need more investments in roads and highways, new electricity generation and distribution networks, expanded and modernised railway networks, new and upgraded airport and port facilities. Such essential elements of infrastructure would provide our industry and agriculture with the connectivity needed for growth in production and trade, and for improving the quality of life of all of our people… I call upon you to harness the huge untapped potential to increase the volume and enhance the quality of our economic engagement. Both governments are your partners in this enterprise.”

Reforms

Assuring the gathering that India remained committed to continuing its economic reforms, Mr. Ansari said it was pressing ahead with tax reforms by introducing the Goods and Services Tax. The country was also working on reforms in the financial, legal and educational sectors, and in skill development, while remaining committed to pursuing prudent fiscal and monetary policies and controlling inflation.

In recent years, he said, economic and commercial relations had become a major driving force of India-Turkey bilateral ties, with trade having more than doubled in the past five years, from $1.5 billion in 2005 to $4 billion in 2010. Exports became increasingly diverse on both sides. “For the current calendar year, the bilateral trade is expected to register an 80-plus per cent increase over last year and touch $6.5-7 billion, surpassing the target of $5 billion the two governments set for 2012 during Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's landmark visit to India in 2008. This has been possible only due to the active exchanges and collaboration between our business communities, including that of members of the TUSKON.”

The trend in the flow of services and investments between the two countries was “encouraging.” At present, more than 100 Indian companies had registered businesses, investments and operations in Turkey, spanning information technology, airport infrastructure, automobiles, steel, irrigation and personal care products. Given the Turkish companies' expertise in infrastructure development, it emerged as a leading sector for investments in India.

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