The government on Thursday said it aims to attract, in the next five years, a whopping $ 250 billion foreign direct investment into India [ Images ], which has become an investor-friendly destination for global investors.
"In the next five years, we are aiming to have $ 250 billion FDI coming into India," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said at a CII function in New Delhi [ Images ].
The target of $ 250 billion looks ambitious in the wake of India receiving cumulative FDI of $ 124 billion into equity in the last 10 years.
This fiscal FDI inflow stood at $ 14 billion during April-November 2010-11, a decline of 27 per cent over the same period last year.
The government is taking steps to attract more and more foreign direct investment (FDI). It may allow FDI in sectors like multi-brand retail and defence.
Sharma said that during the global economic crisis, India remained one of most attractive destination for foreign investors.
"We have an investor-friendly policy regime," he said. Speaking on the occasion, South Korean Trade Minister Kim Jong-Hoon said that huge business opportunities are available for Indian and Korean companies in each others region.
The visiting minister is here for the first review of the India-South Korea Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA), implemented a year ago.
After the implementation of the free trade pact, the two-way trade between the countries grew by about 45 per cent during January-November 2010 to $ 15.6 billion.
Both Sharma and Hoon said that the bilateral trade target of $ 30 billion by 2014 is achievable.
Hoon said that to further enhance investments in India, there is a need of some more Korean bank branches here to facilitate Korean businesses in India. "...we do need some more banking services (which are) very familiar with Korean business and that's why I would like to ask your government to give a good consideration to give some more permissions to Korean banks to open their offices here," Hoon said.
Sharma said that he has received two applications from South Korea, who is interested in opening bank branches in Chennai.
"I have talked to our officials and we will find a way how to facilitate the approvals required (for) the two Korean banks which have asked for approvals to set base in Chennai... at the earliest," Sharma said.