India invites foreign investment in infrastructure, MSMEs

Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Shri Nitin Gadkari, spoke on the topic while addressing the Indo-Australia Chamber of Commerce and Womennovator on “Trade, Investment and Collaborations in Road sector and MSMEs.”

August 12, 2020

India and Australia are already co-operating in road safety. Shri Gadkari said that this has provided better designs for roads and awareness opportunities for the public.

The Government of India has launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline with over 6,500 projects worth US$1.4 trillion that are to be completed in the coming five years.

The Government has been offering the policy and fiscal support to grassroots enterprises and anticipates a contribution of US$2 trillion from MSMEs in the coming five years.

At the forum, Australian Deputy PM Michael McCormack expressed confidence that the ties between the two countries will grow more comprehensively in trade and commerce.

The Government of India is encouraging increased foreign investment in developing key infrastructures as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) – both vital to the overall strengthening of the national economy. Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Shri Nitin Gadkari, spoke on the topic while addressing the Indo-Australia Chamber of Commerce and Womennovator on “Trade, Investment and Collaborations in Road sector and MSMEs.” Calling for increased investment by global institutions in the Indian Highways and MSME sectors, he said that transportation, logistics, and the MSMEs are the growth engines of the Indian economy. While improved infrastructure empowers most activities in a modern economy, strong MSMEs are at the core of employment and income generation.

India and Australia are already co-operating in road safety. Shri Gadkari said that this cooperation has provided better designs for roads and awareness opportunities for the public. Under the Indian Road Safety Assessment Programme, 21,000 km of roads have been assessed and about 3,000 km of road length is under technological upgrading. It is estimated that the up-gradation programmes will bring about a 50 per cent reduction in road accidents. Shri Gadkari informed that the Government’s objective was to achieve zero road fatalities by 2030. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have committed Rs.70 billion each for this campaign. The Minister also referred to the Motor Vehicles Act of 2019, which is comprehensive legislation on all aspects of the growing transport sector in India.

India’s Union Budget 2020-21 had emphasised on infrastructure as a force for economic development. In line with this, the Government of India has launched the National Infrastructure Pipeline with more than 6,500 projects worth over US$1.4 trillion that are to be completed in the coming five years. The projects seek to improve the ease of living and as a result, the economic prosperity of all citizens, contributing to the US$5 trillion economic targets. Meanwhile, the Government has allotted more than US$23.9 billion for transport infrastructure for 2020-21. India has also been strengthening cross-border connectivity to boost trade and other vital bilateral exchanges. Now the Government is looking to launch the National Logistics Policy which will further boost activity in the Indian infrastructure and connectivity space. 

Shri Gadkari added that the Government is concentrating on the rural, agricultural, and tribal sectors for providing new employment opportunities. He emphasized that it is the MSME sector which will drive the Indian economy in the coming years. The Government of India has been offering the necessary policy and fiscal support to grassroots enterprises and anticipates a contribution of US$2 trillion from MSMEs in the coming five years. Herein, the year 2019 was particularly significant for the Indian MSME sector that saw 65,312 new micro-enterprises being set up and 522,496 job opportunities created. The Indian Government has also redefined classifications of MSMEs based on investment and valuation, amid other policy amendments, that are expected to create new opportunities for grassroots entrepreneurs.

At the forum, Australian Deputy PM Michael McCormack also elaborated on various initiatives of his Government in the road sector especially in the area of road safety. He added that India and Australia have strong relations which he said have never been so strong. He expressed confidence that the ties between the two countries will grow further comprehensively in different fields including trade and commerce. He stressed the need for building infrastructure and added saying that this is one way of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic.