India may attract $250 bn FDI in next five-year: Sharma

India may attract $250 bn FDI in next five-year: Sharma

New Delhi: The government today said it aims to attract, in the next five-year, a whopping $250 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) into India, which has become an investor-friendly destination for global investors.

“In the next five-year, we are aiming to have $250 billion FDI coming into India," commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma said at a CII function here.

The target of $250 billion looks ambitious in the wake of India receiving cumulative FDI of $124 billion into equity in the last 10-year. This fiscal FDI inflows stood at $14 billion during April-November 2010-11, a decline of 27% over the same period last year.

The government is taking steps to attract more and more foreign direct investment (FDI). It is considering to allow FDI in sectors like multi-brand retail and defence.

Sharma said that during the global economic crisis, India remained one of most attractive destination for foreign investors.

“We have an investor-friendly policy regime," he said.

Speaking on the occasion, South Korean trade minister Kim Jong-Hoon said that huge business opportunities are available for Indian and Korean companies in each others region.

The visiting minister is here for the first review of the India-South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), implemented a year ago.

After the implementation of the free trade pact, the two-way trade between the countries grew by about 45% during January-November 2010 to $15.6 billion.

Both Sharma and Hoon said that the bilateral trade target of $30 billion by 2014 is achievable.

Hoon said that to further enhance investments in India, there is a need of some more Korean bank branches here to facilitate Korean businesses in India.

“We do need some more banking services (which are) very familiar with Korean business and that’s why I would like to ask your government to give a good consideration to give some more permissions to Korean banks to open their offices here," Hoon said.

Sharma said that he has received two applications from South Korea, who is interested in opening bank branches in Chennai.

“I have talked to our officials and we will find a way how to facilitate the approvals required (for) the two Korean banks which have asked for approvals to set base in Chennai... at the earliest," Sharma said.

Hoon said that over 200 Korean companies, including Hyundai, LG and Samsung, are already present in India and many other firms like Dusan Heavy Industries and Hyundai Constructions have shown interest in the Indian infrastructure sector.

The government aims to invest $1 trillion in the infrastructure sector in the 12th Plan Period.

Hoon said that after the implementation of CEPA, services sector has got a huge boost.

He said that last year, about 80,000 Koreans visited India, while about 50,000 Indians visited South Korea mostly for business purposes.

Hoon also said that they are planning to open a cultural centre here, which would give a “first hand" experience to Indians about the Korean culture.

At the ministerial level, both the sides would review the CEPA. “We will be having a ministerial level review of CEPA. (We will) look, what more we can do to further alleviate and deepen the economic engagement," Sharma said.

Both the sides will try to further facilitate the movement of professionals.

The minister said that India would like to collaborate and partner in sectors like manufacturing, engineering, electronics, automobile, ship building, IT and education, as in these areas Korea has a greater edge.

Sharma also sought Korean investments in the proposed National Manufacturing and Investment Zones (NMIZs).

Hoon added that India has a big film market of about $2 billion. In this area also opportunities are available for collaboration.