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Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

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Last updated: Mar, 2018

About FDI in India


Apart from being a critical driver of economic growth, foreign direct investment (FDI) is a major source of non-debt financial resource for the economic development of India. Foreign companies invest in India to take advantage of relatively lower wages, special investment privileges such as tax exemptions, etc. For a country where foreign investments are being made, it also means achieving technical know-how and generating employment.

The Indian government’s favourable policy regime and robust business environment have ensured that foreign capital keeps flowing into the country. The government has taken many initiatives in recent years such as relaxing FDI norms across sectors such as defence, PSU oil refineries, telecom, power exchanges, and stock exchanges, among others.

Market size

According to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), the total FDI investments in India during April-December 2017 stood at US$ 35.94 billion, indicating that government's effort to improve ease of doing business and relaxation in FDI norms is yielding results.

Data for April-December 2017 indicates that the telecommunications sector attracted the highest FDI equity inflow of US$ 6.14 billion, followed by computer software and hardware – US$ 5.16 billion and services – US$ 4.62 billion. Most recently, the total FDI equity inflows for the month of December 2017 touched US$ 4.82 billion.

During April-December 2017, India received the maximum FDI equity inflows from Mauritius (US$ 13.35 billion), followed by Singapore (US$ 9.21 billion), Netherlands (US$ 2.38 billion), USA (US$ 1.74 billion), and Japan (US$ 1.26 billion).

Indian impact investments may grow 25 per cent annually to US$ 40 billion from US$ 4 billion by 2025, as per Mr Anil Sinha, Global Impact Investing Network's (GIIN’s) advisor for South Asia.

Investments/ developments

India has become the fastest growing investment region for foreign investors in 2016, led by an increase in investments in real estate and infrastructure sectors from Canada, according to a report by KPMG.

Some of the recent significant FDI announcements are as follows:

  • In February 2018, Ikea announced its plans to invest up to Rs 4,000 crore (US$ 612 million) in the state of Maharashtra to set up multi-format stores and experience centres.

  • In November 2017, 39 MoUs were signed for investment of Rs 4,000-5,000 crore (US$ 612-765 million) in the state of North-East region of India.

  • In December 2017, the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) approved FDI proposals of Damro Furniture and Supr Infotech Solutions in retail sector, while Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance approved two FDI proposals worth Rs 532 crore (US$ 81.4 million).

  • The Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India, closed three foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals leading to a total foreign investment worth Rs 24.56 crore (US$ 3.80 million) in October 2017.

  • Singapore's Temasek will acquire a 16 per cent stake worth Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 156.16 million) in Bengaluru based private healthcare network Manipal Hospitals which runs a hospital chain of around 5,000 beds.

  • France-based energy firm, Engie SA and Dubai-based private equity (PE) firm Abraaj Group have entered into a partnership for setting up a wind power platform in India.

  • US-based footwear company, Skechers, is planning to add 400-500 more exclusive outlets in India over the next five years and also to launch its apparel and accessories collection in India.

  • The government has approved five Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) proposals from Oppo Mobiles India, Louis Vuitton Malletier, Chumbak Design, Daniel Wellington AB and Actoserba Active Wholesale Pvt Ltd, according to Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP).

  • Cumulative equity foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows in India increased 40 per cent to reach US$ 114.4 billion between FY 2015-16 and FY 2016-17, as against US$ 81.8 billion between FY 2011-12 and FY 2013-14.

  • Walmart India Pvt Ltd, the Indian arm of the largest global retailer, is planning to set up 30 new stores in India over the coming three years.

  • US-based ecommerce giant, Amazon, has invested about US$ 1 billion in its Indian arm so far in 2017, taking its total investment in its business in India to US$ 2.7 billion.

  • Kathmandu based conglomerate, CG Group is looking to invest Rs 1,000 crore (US$ 155.97 million) in India by 2020 in its food and beverage business, stated Mr Varun Choudhary, Executive Director, CG Corp Global.

  • International Finance Corporation (IFC), the investment arm of the World Bank Group, is planning to invest about US$ 6 billion through 2022 in several sustainable and renewable energy programmes in India.

  • SAIC Motor Corporation is planning to enter India’s automobile market and begin operations in 2019 by setting up a fully-owned car manufacturing facility in India.

  • SoftBank is planning to invest its new US$ 100 billion technology fund in market leaders in each market segment in India as it is seeks to begin its third round of investments.

Government Initiatives

In September 2017, the Government of India asked the states to focus on strengthening single window clearance system for fast-tracking approval processes, in order to increase Japanese investments in India.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India has eased the approval mechanism for foreign direct investment (FDI) proposals by doing away with the approval of Department of Revenue and mandating clearance of all proposals requiring approval within 10 weeks after the receipt of application.

India and Japan have joined hands for infrastructure development in India's north-eastern states and are also setting up an India-Japan Coordination Forum for Development of North East to undertake strategic infrastructure projects in the northeast.

The Government of India is in talks with stakeholders to further ease foreign direct investment (FDI) in defence under the automatic route to 51 per cent from the current 49 per cent, in order to give a boost to the Make in India initiative and to generate employment. In January 2018, 100 per cent FDI was allowed in single brand retail through automatic route along with relaxations in rules in other areas.

The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has exempted employee stock options (ESOPs), foreign direct investment (FDI) and court-approved transactions from the long term capital gains (LTCG) tax, under the Finance Act 2017.

The Government of India is likely to allow 100 per cent foreign direct investment (FDI) in cash and ATM management companies, since they are not required to comply with the Private Securities Agencies Regulations Act (PSARA).

Road ahead

India has become the most attractive emerging market for global partners (GP) investment for the coming 12 months, as per a recent market attractiveness survey conducted by Emerging Market Private Equity Association (EMPEA).

The World Bank has stated that private investments in India is expected to grow by 8.8 per cent in FY 2018-19 to overtake private consumption growth of 7.4 per cent, and thereby drive the growth in India's gross domestic product (GDP) in FY 2018-19.

Exchange Rate Used: INR 1 = US$ 0.0153 as on March 01, 2018.

References: Media Reports, Press Releases, Press Information Bureau, Press Trust of India

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