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SAARC members keen on Indian investment, expertise

Sep 25, 2011 2:34:08 PM - www.ft.lk

New Delhi (The Hindu Business Line): From Maldives in the south of India to Bhutan in the north, several SAARC countries are keen to seek Indian investment and expertise. And not without reason, because 55 per cent of the intra-regional trade potential in South Asia remains untapped.

Realising this, Bhutan, which has recently come up with a revised foreign direct investment policy and is to shortly announce a new renewable energy policy to promote and develop renewal energy for its current and future needs, is keen to seek Indian investments in four to five sectors including power, tourism, construction and industry.
“In the future, there will be openings for smaller power projects for private sector companies to consider,” the Secretary-General, Bhutan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Phub Tshering, said. These projects will be below 500 MW, he added.
The country is also inviting investments from India in the proposed education city project.
In Maldives, Indian investors can look at tourism, hotels, ports, airports and fisheries.  “Don’t look at the size of the country or the economy. The world has millions of billions. We are trying to attract them.  It is for the Indian business community to explore the potential in the Maldives. If India does not look into it there are other countries which are equally rich who can. But we are very comfortable with India.
It is our closest neighbour and strategically very important for us,” the Maldives High Commissioner to India Abdul Azeez Yoosuf, said.
Sri Lanka, too, is keen to see investments from India touch the $ 1 billion level in the next three years from the current level of about $ 200 million, the Minister for International Cooperation, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, said.

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