Indian finance minister promotes investment during “Make In India” speech

India’s finance minister has said Australian investment would be helpful in realising the goal of India as a low-cost manufacturing hub.

India’s finance minister has said Australian investment would be helpful in realising the goal of India as a low-cost manufacturing hub.

Arun Jaitley addressed an event in Melbourne yesterday, promoting the fast-growing country’s Make In India goals, which include upping the manufacturing sector’s share from 16 to 25 per cent of GDP.

The current rate of GDP expansion, 7.5 per cent, was lower than what the country – hampered by bad monsoons – was capable of. There was also a need to improve infrastructure to ready its economy.

“For two consecutive years, we are the fastest growing economy in the world. When we measure ourselves by our own standards, we believe that 7.5 percent does not reflect our true potential,” he said, according to the Hindustan Times.

“Manufacturing must occupy a space,” he said.

Fairfax reports that the speech included a message that investment by Australian superannuation funds could present huge opportunities.

Food manufacturing was one area offering potential, according to Jaitley.

“This year in the Union [national] budget I have opened up agricultural products to be produced in India to be processed and marketed to 100 per cent FDI [foreign direct investment],” he said.

“This is one area of core competence for Australians, and therefore it’s a huge opportunity considering the size of India’s population. It’s a business opportunity and in turn it’s a win-win situation for us because what our farmers produce will be sold.”