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India a safe investment destination: FM to Indian diaspora

Last updated on: November 21, 2013 17:29 IST

India a safe investment destination: FM to Indian diaspora

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Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday assured the Indian diaspora community that their home country was a safe investment destination.

Chidambaram said the measures taken by the reserve bank of india has helped the rupee to curb volatility.

"We believe that the exchange rate of rupee today is a better reflection of its true value and we are confident that both volatility and speculation have been largely contained," Chidambaram said at the opening of South Asian Diaspora Convention, 2013, which was attended by over 1000 delegates.

He said the good market response to the rupee bond floated by the International Finance Corporation two days ago indicated market confidence in the Indian currency.

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Image: Children play inside one of the instruments of Jantar Mantar, a collection of architectural astronomical instruments, in New Delhi.
Photographs: Parth Sanyal/Reuters

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"Although I would hesitate to draw conclusion at this early stage, all these, in my view augurs well for attracting investments," he said.

Touching on the role of Indian diaspora, the Minister said since 2003, India has been the largest recipient of overseas remittances, which rose from the modest $2 billion in 1991 to $70 billion in 2013.

"Two months ago, RBI opened a special window to attract funds into FCNR B (Foreign Currency Non-Repatriable account) -- I am happy to report that as I speak to you today, the scheme, which will close on November 30, has received $16 billion.

The FCNR B allows the account holder to retain deposits in foreign currency and earn attractive interest.          

"In recent times we have turned our attention to successful Indian entrepreneurs and high networth individuals," he said.

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Image: A visitor poses for a picture in front of Taj Mahal hotel in Mumbai.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters
Tags: India , RBI

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Chidambaram told the diaspora that India has so far entered into 72 bilateral protection agreements besides Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreements with some countries and was in the process of negotiating an agreement with The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.

"I believe that taken together,the macro economic fundamentals and the micro economic fundamentals make India an attractive and safe investment destination".

The estimated 20 million Indian diaspora constitutes only about 2 per cent of India's population and their total wealth taken together is estimated at $1 trillion, which is nearly 50 per cent of India's gross domestic product.     

Of the $1 trillion, one-half is estimated to be financial assets.

The income of Indian diaspora is estimated at $400 billion every year.

"We take the diaspora seriously," Chidambaram said, while calling the gathering to invest in India.


Image: Devotees dressed as gods and goddesses take part in a procession before the immersion of the idols of Ganesh in the waters of the Hussain Sagar lake on the last day of the Ganesh Chaturthi festival in Hyderabad.
Photographs: Krishnendu Halder/Reuters

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