The New Year promises to continue the upward swing in foreign direct investment (FDI) flowing into India, according to the country’s main investment promotion agency.

India’s investment climate has never been better. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to reform-perform-and-transform has conclusively catapulted India into a higher orbit. The last 12 months saw India break into the top-100 club, on ease of doing business, receive a record FDI of $60.1 billion and earn an upgrade in its credit rating from Moody’s.

India crossed the $300 billion mark at a time when the global economic slowdown has had a dampening impact. This speaks volumes of the opportunity India as an investment destination has to offer and how timely market reforms are creating a positive ecosystem for the international investor.

The government of India has taken up a series of measures to improve Ease of Doing Business in the country. The emphasis has been on simplification and rationalisation of the existing rules and introduction of information technology to make governance more efficient and effective. Today the international investor is all ears to the India story as never before. Almost every decision-making meeting globally has India on its agenda.

The Government of India recently unveiled its vision for India’s steel manufacturing capabilities by circulating a new draft steel policy for 2017 for public discussion and approval by the Cabinet, writes India Inc. policy expert.

India’s new draft ‘National Steel Policy of 2017’ is an outline for attaining a most ambitious target capacity of 300 million tonnes of crude steel capacity by 2030, which is anticipated as the demand for steel by then. India is producing only around a 100 million tonnes today while China, if we must compare, produces around 750/800 million tonnes a year – about 50 per cent of global capacity.

Alok Shrivastava, Director – Business Intelligence and Planning at Gionee India, talks ‘India Investment Journal’ through the China-headquartered smartphone manufacturers trajectory of growth in the country, its Make in India plans and gaining a competitive edge.

How have Gionee’s Make in India plans progressed since its entry into the market?

The Make in India campaign has opened doors for the companies to build in India. India is one of the most important markets on the global map of Gionee and we have been seeing exponential growth here, which is only set to increase as we progress on our manufacturing plans in India.

Starting from last year, all Gionee devices sold in India have been manufactured in India as well. At present, we are in negotiation with the government. After it finishes, we shall have a fully operational manufacturing plant in Noida, thanks to the government’s support through Make in India campaign.

A growing economy and ever-increasing government initiatives like ‘e-Tourist Visa’, ‘Digital India’, ‘Make in India’ etc has led to a simultaneous increase in demand by business and leisure travelers for clean, affordable and modern accommodation.

India’s Ministry of Tourism has estimated that presently there is a shortage of over 200,000 rooms in the country for both domestic and international travelers. Utilising residential accommodation as homestays or bed & breakfast guest houses is one of the quickest means to fill this shortage.

With its tremendous untapped potential, Karnataka is an appealing locus for French companies.

France and India have always been very close. The ties between our two countries have nevertheless been strengthened over the years: whether it be culture, defence, the economy, education, politics or science, our relationship has now grown into a full-scale partnership. While our bilateral trade in goods is expected to come near the $10 billion mark this year (€8.6 billion in 2016), it bears reminding that our trade in services has also thrived, with France’s exports and imports to and from India reaching about €1.4 billion and €1.8 billion, respectively.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s programme to make India a major global manufacturing hub is likely to start showing results when the $68-billion of investments committed on the ground start coming on stream over the next couple of years.

Critics complain that the glass is half empty. The Prime Minister’s Make in India initiative has not led to any increase in the share of manufacturing in the country’s GDP and has not generated the huge number of jobs it was expected to.

But that, pardon the pun, is only half the picture. Experts point out that the manufacturing sector begins to contribute to the economy only with a lag of three-four years and point to the pipeline of about $68 billion of foreign investment, much of it in the manufacturing sector, to argue that a better way of describing the glass would be as half full.

The Strategic Partnership Policy (SPP) could throw open deals worth over $20bn to six selected private sector companies in India.

India’s defence forces will get their first fighter jets, submarines, helicopters and armoured vehicles made in India by the private sector within a few years. And it is entirely probable that friendly foreign countries could also be using some of these Made in India weapon systems.

Make in India, one of the flagship initiatives launched under Prime Minister Modi, has led to a step change in FDI inflows, writes an investment facilitator.

The total FDI inflows into India stood at $60.1 billion in 2016-17 — the highest ever in a single year. Compared to 2013-14, this represents a 75 per cent increase. India’s achievement is even more stark when compared to falling global FDI flows as highlighted by UNCTAD. More importantly, Make in India has enabled long-term structural changes such as opening new sectors for FDI, increasing the ease of doing business, cutting the red tape and improving the physical infrastructure.

India’s power minister, Piyush Goyal, was on a European investment scouting mission recently and opened up a series of avenues for FDI into the power sector in Vienna and London.

India’s Minister for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, Piyush Goyal, was on a European tour in early May to lure Austria and the UK to look at investing more in India.

At the Vienna Energy Forum, the discussion revolved around the world’s largest energy transformation programme which is currently being pioneered by India. Goyal asserted that no country can offer the kind of scale and speed that India has in terms of financing and technical capabilities. Goyal also urged the global community to link low-cost technology, renewable energy and sustainable lifestyles.