New Delhi: The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has announced a mega event to revive investments in the eight states of northern India. At a press conference here in the capital on Friday, CII Northern Region revealed that the first ever ‘Invest North’ conclave is being organised with the partnership of respective state governments in the National Capital Region (NCR) on November 3-4.
Planned as an initiative to showcase the investment potential in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and UT Chandigarh, the CII said both overseas and domestic investors will participate in the conclave. This follows on the model of successful investor meets organised in other parts of India, such as ‘Emerging Kerala’, ‘Vibrant Gujarat’ and ‘Global Investors Meet Karnataka’.
According to CII, northern India is home to 7% of the world’s population, contributes 25% to India’s GDP and accounts for 31% of India’s agri GDP. Five northern states and UT Chandigarh enjoy higher per capita income than the national average.
Further, industrial corridors across Delhi, UP, Haryana and Rajasthan are proposed along the Delhi Mumbai Railway Freight Corridor. About 33.4 million students from north India are expected to enter higher and vocational education by 2016.
The potential sectors for investment in the north are Infrastructure, Manufacturing, Healthcare, Agriculture and Agri-Business, Tourism, IT & ITeS.
Unveiling the summit, Mr Ajay S Shriram, Vice-President CII, Chairman, Invest North 2012 and Chairman & Senior MD, DCM Shriram Consolidated Ltd, said ‘Invest North’ aims to showcase investment potential, enhance investment climate and attract investments in the eight northern states.
"The northern states are keen to seek fresh investments and forge new partnerships that would enable them to further leverage their growth potential and regain their competitiveness. ‘Invest North’ is an effort to create a platform for northern states to strengthen business and industry in this region," he added.
stressed, “Though the northern states have vast potential and offer immense investment opportunities from traditional sectors like agro-products and textiles to emerging sectors like biotech and IT, they have lost their competitive edge in recent times to other more proactive states in western and southern India”. The share of northern states in cumulative FDI inflows (from April 2000 to April 2012) stands at a mere 28 %. Within that, the bulk of FDI has been limited to the NCR.
Mr Richard Rekhy, Chairman CII Northern Regional Committee on Economic Affairs & Taxation and Head of Advisory, KPMG India, highlighted key advantages of the northern region. “The state governments of Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, UP, Rajasthan, and J&K have confirmed their participation in this initiative, while discussions are on with Punjab and Uttarakhand state governments. USA and Australia have also confirmed their participation. Some of the other countries that we are looking at include UK, Germany, Singapore, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Thailand and Israel”, he informed.
Mr Jayant Davar, Deputy Chairman, CII Northern Region, and Vice-Chairman & MD, Sandhar Technologies Ltd added that there is a vast untapped potential, which is clear from the fact that western India has been getting 50% of the total FDI. “Invest North aims to address some of the limiting factors and portray the north as a preferred investment location with a large market base and significant resources, backed by conducive investment policies.”
‘Invest North’ would help industry forge partnerships and explore business and investment opportunities by engaging with various stakeholders, including state governments and central authorities.