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GCC emerges as an attractive investment destination for India.

Muscat: The Gulf region's investor friendly economic environment, geographical proximity and inherent advantages in energy-intensive manufacturing hold tremendous potential for attracting further investments from Indian industries. The global economic slowdown and its impact on the developed economies have prompted a 'look east' policy from the GCC states, which has enhanced the significance of India as a potential investor, according to research paper titled 'GCC as an investment destination -- Opportunities for Indian companies' released by Alpen Capital. Though there has been significant growth in bilateral trade between the two regions, the growth in investment flows has been limited so far. However, India's growing significance as one of the fastest growing global economic powerhouses, and as a part of their growth initiatives, Indian corporates scout for attractive overseas investment opportunities. "GCC offers strategic advantages, such as availability of cheap energy and feedstock supply, low tax environment, well-developed infrastructure, growing population and increasing income levels, conducive for the development of various industries in the region. All these advantages if properly showcased could attract substantial investment flows from Indian corporates, who are looking to expand their global footprints and scouting for distinctive cost advantages to remain globally competitive," said Sameena Ahmad, managing director of Alpen Capital. India has always had a special significance for GCC, as the economic relations between the two regions dates back to several centuries. The relation between GCC and India has further strengthened over the last decade, with the increasing import of oil and gas, growing trade, investment opportunities and presence of a large Indian diaspora. "The GCC is emerging as an attractive investment destination for Indian companies. We as Alpen Capital specialise in the GCC-India corridor and have concluded several transactions in this sphere. There are several opportunities that exist in the GCC for Indian companies and we see a lot of interest from Indian corporates to establish a presence in the GCC. This trend is on the rise and we will continue to work closely with our clients and the respective governments to facilitate these transactions," added Sanjay Vig, managing director of Alpen Capital. Investment prospects A variety of catalysts for investment growth exist in GCC. While the oil industry is undeniably a pillar for the GCC economies, the region's priority is to achieve sustained economic growth through development of non-oil sectors. This can be achieved by increasing private sector participation, strengthening local technological capabilities, developing a skilled workforce, improving the competitiveness of exports in global markets and by attracting substantial overseas investments. Continued government spending to boost competitiveness, self-reliance and developing local skilled work force would offer potential investment opportunities in sectors such as petrochemicals, fertilisers, plastics, pharmaceutical, sugar refining, aluminium and steel. In addition, government support and infrastructure is expected to grow in sectors such as information and communication technology (ICT) and agriculture, food processing, education, financial services and EPC. GCC offers distinctive advantages for overseas investors. GCC offers substantial cost advantage for industries like petrochemicals, fertilisers, pharmaceuticals and metallurgy among others, as the region boasts of one of the lowest energy costs globally due to abundant availability of resources.

Muscat Press and Publishing House SAOC 2013

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Publication:Times of Oman (Muscat, Oman)
Geographic Code:9INDI
Date:Nov 6, 2013
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