Companies in the US foresee tremendous investment opportunities in infrastructure in India with an investment of one trillion dollars planned for the sector during the 12th Plan period, US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic, Energy and Business Affairs Jose W. Fernandez said here on Wednesday.
“India's Five Year Plans envision an investment of one trillion dollars in infrastructure and half of that amount – 500 billion dollars – will be invested by the private sector….This is an opportunity for U.S. companies. So I came to India to help identify the opportunities and challenges for U.S. companies as they look to participate in Indian infrastructure,” Mr. Fernandez told journalists.
Mr. Fernandez's visit follows the visit of US President Barrack Obama to India. During the President's visit, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had welcomed the contribution of US companies in investment in infrastructure development projects.
Mr. Fernandez pointed out that several American banks also saw opportunities in infrastructure in India.
“When you talk about needing 500 billion dollars worth of private sector investment – that is not going to be necessarily equity. A lot of that is going to be financed. So there will be a great opportunity for banks there,” he said.
During his five-day visit to India that began in Mumbai on Monday, Mr. Fernandez will meet US companies and American Chambers of Commerce, Indian industry representatives and Indian officials to discuss ways the US private sector can enhance its role in the on-going development of Indian infrastructure.
Mr. Fernandez said that the companies he had met so far had been very optimistic about the opportunities in infrastructure whether it is water, power or roads.
He also said that investments into clean energy “were waiting to be made in India,” and he meant to discuss options on clean technologies as a part of his visit. Mr. Fernandez, who co-leads the US annual investment focus group with India, said this trip will help identify the issues to be discussed in the meeting scheduled to be held in New Delhi later this year.