Remarks by Consul General of India, Shanghai at Indian Aviation Marketing Investment Conference 2018 on January 12, 2018

Remarks by Consul General of India, Shanghai at Indian Aviation Marketing Investment Conference 2018 on January 12, 2018 (Jan 12, 2018)

Indian Aviation Marketing Investment Conference 2018

 Remarks by Mr. Anil Kumar Rai, Consul General of India, Shanghai

[12 January 2018; 0930 hrs]

Mr. Zheng Hongfeng, CEO of CARNOC; Mr. V.P. Agrawal, Strategic Advisor, Indian Pathfinders; Mr. Subir Hazra, Associate VP and Head, Strategic Planning, Delhi Airport International Limited; distinguished guests, ladies & gentlemen,

Namaskar!! Ni Hao!! Good Morning!!

India and China are two great and old civilizations of the world, and share millennia-old relationship. Today, we together, represent more than one-third of the Global population. Also, the two countries are the fastest growing economies of the world and engines of global economic growth. While India is known all over the world for its software prowess and IT industry, China is famous as the manufacturing hub, the factory of the world. A partnership based on the spirit of mutual cooperation and reciprocity between India and China is the need of the hour.

Looking at the current status of economy of India and China, the two countries stand at a unique juncture. India, today, has emerged as the fastest growing major economy in the world as per the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and it is expected to be one of the top three economic powers of the world over the next decade. India’s GDP increased 7.1 per cent in 2016-17 and is expected to further strengthen.

The Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has undertaken major reforms to sustain the momentum of rapid economic growth and has launched flagship programmes like 'Make in India' and 'Start Up India', among others, with an aim to boost the manufacturing sector of Indian economy, to increase the purchasing power of an average Indian consumer. India is committed to double he farmer’s income by 2022, which will further boost demand for services including for the aviation sector.

The Government of India, under the Make in India initiative, is trying to give boost to the contribution made by the manufacturing sector and aims to take it up to 25 per cent of the GDP from the current 17 per cent in next few years. Chinese companies should take advantage of favourable policy regime, relatively lower wages, special investment privileges such as tax exemptions, and robust business environment. The government has taken many initiatives in recent years such as relaxing FDI norms across the sectors.

India has now emerged as one of the most open economies in the world for receiving foreign direct investments (FDI), on the back of a host of liberalization measures. 100 % FDI is allowed in almost all sectors. On 11 January, Government has announced 49% FDI in Air India, the national carrier, which provides excellent opportunity for entering in the India’s aviation market.

The recently released World Bank's Doing Business Report ranking recorded a jump of 30 places for India. In words of Prime Minister Starting a new business in India is now easier than ever before. Procedures for obtaining clearances from various agencies have been simplified. Archaic laws have been repealed, and the burden of compliances has been reduced. You will feel it when interact with any Chinese or foreign investor.

India is set to become the third largest aviation market by 2020. The passenger traffic at Indian airports is expected to reach 421 million from 265 million.

The travel and tourism sector is expected to contribute US $ 423 billion by 2026 and the growth rate is forecasted at a rate of 6.66 % on year to year basis. Some of important factors propelling strong and sustained demand are; expanding middle class, increase in working population, rising domestic and foreign tourist and travelers, strong growth in external trade, among others.

Keeping these factors in mind the government has adopted an increasingly open sky policy and scope for increased private sector participation particularly in modernization, development, expansion and up-gradation of existing airports, investment opportunities in new airport projects, MRO etc.

Experts feel that the medium to long term returns in the Indian aviation sector are amongst the best. Given the opportunists in the horizon, already a large number of foreign players are entering the Indian aviation sector. Some of the important names are Airport company South Africa Global; Malaysia Airport Holding, Berhard; Frankfurt Airport Services Worldwide; Air Asia; AEROMEXICO etc,.

Some major initiatives undertaken by the government are:

Constructing 17 highways-cum-airstrips are the government's priorities. The projects are designed in such a fashion that the roads will double up as airstrips.

Airport building and modernization projects worth over US$ 3 billion have been recommended green clearance, in line with the Government of India’s focus on improvement in regional air connectivity.

The Government of India has approved the construction of 18 Greenfield airports in the country, which would be executed and financed by the respective airport promoters, and are estimated to require an investment of US$ 4.66 billion.

Government of India has approved the proposal to revive 50 un-served and under-served airstrips with at an estimated cost of US$ 700 million.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation along with Airports Authority of India (AAI) plans to develop small airports with frugal facilities, and encourage private airlines to bid for routes connecting these small airports with existing larger airports, thereby increasing regional air traffic.

My message to the Chinese investors are; come, invest in India, ‘Make in India’ for the World. We invite each of you to become a partner in the growth story of India.

India looks for cooperation and investments from China with the spirit of mutual gains. The investment from China is most welcome and will get rule based fair and equitable treatment in India. Meanwhile, it is useful to mention that Indian Service Industry also expects similar treatment, based on the principles of reciprocity, equal treatment, protection against discrimination and prejudices from state and non-state actors.

I would also like to take this opportunity to inform you about the e-Visa facility available for the Chinese national, wherein you can apply for visa sitting at home and get it within 72 hours of application. In addition, if there is any assistance or support needed from us, we are just a call or email away from you. We will try to provide all kinds of support and assistance needed by you.

Thank You.


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