Indian cos invest around $2 billion in 2005-06

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Indian ventures

22 of the

76 projects were from South India, second to the western region's 39 projects. There were 10 projects from Delhi and five from Kolkata.

There were 1,220 projects

in 2005-06 against 1,066 in the previous year.

Chennai, July 5

India is now the third largest investor into the UK going by number of investment decisions for the financial year 2005-06.

With 76 projects that generated 1,449 new jobs, India is behind the US with 446 projects that created 14,431 new jobs and Japan with 84 projects and 2,054 new jobs, according to the

UK Inward Investment Report 2005-06

. Indian companies invested around $2 billion in 2005-06. In 2004-05, there were 36 Indian projects in the UK, placing the country in the eighth place among investors into the UK.

This growth in Indian investments in the UK, according to Mr Mike Connor, British Deputy High Commissioner in southern India, is "extremely good news for the UK and exciting for India." The UK, according to him, had another record year in attracting investments in which India has played an important part.

Giving details of the Indian investment in the UK last financial year, Mr Connor said 22 of the 76 projects were from South India. This was second to the western region's 39 projects. There were 10 projects from Delhi and five from Kolkata.

"The main reason is that the UK has an open and welcoming economy and it allows dynamic businesses to grasp these opportunities and take advantage of the high value activities in the UK," says Mr Connor, on the reasons for growing investments in the UK.

According to the report, there were a total of 1,220 projects in 2005-06 against 1,066 in the previous year. These projects created 34,077 new jobs, which was a decline from the 39,592 created in the previous year.

According to Mr Connor, investors into the UK in 2005-06 included Shasun Chemicals, El Forge, Satyam Computer Services, Aurobindo Pharma, Clintox Bioservices and Northgate Technologies (all from south India).

Companies from the South accounted for 30 per cent of the number of projects by Indian companies in the UK. "It reinforces how, increasingly the best companies from India's new economy sectors are seeing the UK as a business partner," Mr Connor said.

He said that India had committed up to $14 million for joint work in research with the UK following meetings of the Indo-UK Science and Innovation Council in London last week.

The Deputy High Commissioner said the UK's success in attracting foreign investment reiterated its status as the ideal gateway to the European market of 500 million consumers.

On the UK's record in high value activities such as R&D, Mr Connor said the UK had one of the most efficient returns on the R&D. The UK would look to more investments in new economy areas. The UK's strengths were its strong economy - one that has been growing for 55 consecutive quarters - and the country embracing free trade and benefiting from international competition.

The Indo-UK trade was also growing and foreign direct investment inflows from the UK into India in 2005 accounted for about Rs 950 crore, compared to about Rs 660 crore in 2004. The UK was now the fourth largest investor in India, after the Mauritius, the US and Singapore.

The UK, Mr Connor said, had an excellent record in banking and financial services and insurance companies had joint ventures with Indian companies here. The UK insurance companies were keen to increase their stake in the joint ventures. Besides financial services, the UK companies were also keen to offer legal assistance in India. UK firms were not keen on practising law (as in appearing in courts), but wanted to offer advise to clients.

Mr Connor said more staff would be appointed in Chennai to help the UK companies wanting to invest in the southern region.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated July 6, 2006)
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