PM asks Oman to invest in Indian infrastructure sector

PM asks Oman to invest in Indian infrastructure sector

Muscat: Grappling with economic slowdown as a result of global financial crisis, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked energy-rich Gulf countries to invest their surplus funds in the nation’s key infrastructure sectors.

Asia’s third largest economy is looking at boosting spending to prevent the economy from going under.

“I would call upon captains of Oman’s industry and financial companies to invest surplus liquidity into key infrastructure sectors in India. We are determined to create a hospitable climate for investment, particularly foreign investment from friendly countries like Oman," Singh said addressing Omanese business community here.

The global financial crisis is likely to slow the pace of economic growth in India to 7.5% in the year ending 31 March, 2009 and it may record a rate of between 7-7.5% next fiscal. The growth rate comes on back of 9% acceleration in 2007-08 fiscal.

“Against the background of the current international economic and financial situation, I suggest there is an even greater need for us to join hands to shape counter-cyclical growth strategies by focusing on real economy," he said.

“India and Oman are well placed to convert this challenge into an opportunity. We count on you to be the architects of this magnificent change," he added.

The two nations yesterday signed an agreement to set up India-Oman Joint Investment Fund with an initial seed money of $100 million, that would eventually go up to $1 billion, for investments in infrastructure, tourism, health, telecom, utilities, urban infrastructure and other sectors.

“Our infrastructure financing needs are estimated to be $500 billion in the next five years," he said.