Growing middle class offers vast market for Australia: India

Growing middle class offers vast market for Australia: India

New Delhi: The Government on Thursday invited Australian companies to invest in the country and tap the immense opportunities, particularly in energy and infrastructure sector, offered by the growing middle class and a stable investment climate.

Addressing the Australia-India Business Council Investors Meeting in Sydney, Minister of State for Finance P K Bansal said the country offers a huge market and enormous business potential.

India also has the potential to become the trade and business centre of South Asia and East Asia in the near future, with its proposed regional trade agreements with several countries and trade blocs, the minister has been quoted as saying in an official release.

He expressed the hope that Australia would find India an attractive destination for business expansion plans, mutually rewarding for both the countries.

Bansal said that trade between the two countries grew by 34.51% between 2005-06 and 2006-07. The total bilateral trade during 2006-07 was $7.7 billion, making India 11th largest trading partner of Australia.

He said Indian investments in Australia, mostly in IT sector, are now well over $1 billion. On the other hand, Australia ranks 10th and accounts for only about 2.37% of the total FDI approvals with $1.92 billion.

Of this, the inflow of FDI from 1991 to May 2007 has been $208.8 million, he said, adding FDI from Australia reflects neither the potential of that country to invest nor the absorptive capacity of India.

The Minister said investment by foreign institutional investors in Indian stock markets also reaffirms the confidence the investors have in India;s potential.