Why India offers a billion opportunities to small and medium investors from across the Arab world, provided it is marketed and showcased smartly. Is anyone paying attention though?
TARIQ FAROOQUI | Caravan Daily
[dropcap]G[/dropcap]ulf states have over $5 trillion dollars in sovereign funds parked in different banks around the world. India’s total infrastructure development bill is $1 trillion dollars while the whole south Asia’s infrastructure development bill sands at $1.5 trillion dollars.
A long-term vision of peace in South Asia can tap Gulf funds for infrastructure investment to bring immense prosperity and create suitable conditions for cordial relations between Hindus and Muslims in South Asia.
But for this someone in India has to come forward and show the courage to disown the baggage of the past to make a new beginning. A spark to ignite the fire of progress and to change attitudes has to come from India, the largest of South Asian nations and the world’s fastest growing economy. Other south Asian countries will follow automatically.
I have personally seen the rise of Spain in 90s with investment from Kuwait and rise of Turkey in the last 21 years by investment from Europe. Spain and Turkey in the 90s were like India of today.
Why can’t it happen in South Asia? A market of 1.7 billion people must be a natural and magnetic attraction not only for infrastructure investors but also for big, medium and small investors.
A Saudi friend of mine bought an industrial plot in Chennai in 2001 and started Industrial ink plant with only 8 employees. Now after 15 years, he has over 250 employees and has 3 production units in Chennai supplying industrial ink to many Arab and Muslim countries. It is only a small example of success of small investors.
An office or flat bought in Gurgaon by an Egyptian spare parts or tire or agriculture machines dealer in Cairo creates jobs and raise prosperity in India. It may be an investment of hardly $200,000 but it earned him a fortune in good time. There are countless such small investors waiting to invest in India all over the Arab world.
Our generation struggled in the beginning but succeeded in the end but next generation has a platform with solid foundation ready for a big leap forward without struggle, only to write success stories after 30 years, possibly in 2047, when India celebrates its centenary of Independence.