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Investors meet to be held in Muscat
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Muscat, the capital of Oman, will be one of seven cities around the world that will host a key conference aimed at attracting Non-Resident Indian investment and Person of Indian Origin (PIO) capital to India. The 'Investors' Meet' in Muscat, on November 9, will showcase "exclusive customised projects and products for the Indian Diaspora in broad segments," Indian Ambassador Anil Wadhwa, speaking at a curtain raiser for the event here, said. He stressed that the forum would be targeted not only at "big-ticket investments", but also at the mid-level investors.

The 'Investors' meets' are a new initiative by the Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and the Confederation of Indian Industry, to encourage expatriate Indians to invest their money in development projects in their country. Dubai is the only other city in the Middle East chosen to hold the forum. Experts say India will require annual average investments of up to $70 billion to maintain a growth rate of 8-10 per cent over the next 10 years. The Indian government estimates the total number of NRIs and PIOs at around 30 million, which is poised to cross 50 million in the near future in the wake of a surge in the count of Indian nationals taking up jobs abroad. The products promoted at the conference, Wadhwa said, would be in sectors such as real estate, assisted living, wealth management, education, healthcare and infrastructure.

"The basket of products on offer would have, in essence, low risk factor, provide moderate to high returns and have longer shelf life. The products will be region- and sector-specific," he added. India receives sizeable remittances from NRIs in the Gulf, but bulk of this goes into consumer spending. Wadhwa said that one of the primary objectives of the OIFC meet would be to convert these remittances into actual investments. The ambassador noted that India would have to make massive investments in modernisation and development of its core infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, power and telecom to sustain the current level of economic growth. It would also have to invest heavily in healthcare and education, he said, adding: "It is natural that this can be possible only through public-private partnership and FDI."



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