KUWAIT: Indian EPC companies have been awarded contracts worth over KD 1.8 billion ($5 billion) over the last two years in Kuwait, said Indian Ambassador Sunil Jain yesterday. Addressing a conference on “Presence of Indian EPC (engineering, procurement and construction) Companies in Kuwait and Their Role in the Developmental Process of Kuwait” organized by the Indian Embassy in Crowne Plaza Hotel yesterday, Jain said the event would provide an overview of the projects being executed by the Indian companies in Kuwait and their areas of specialization to execute further projects in the country.
The embassy organized the conference as a precursor to ‘Make in India week’ which is scheduled to be held in Mumbai from February 13-18, 2016. “The week-long event will offer access, insights and opportunities to connect and collaborate with India global industry leaders, experts and academicians etc,” the ambassador said.
“I urge our Kuwaiti friends among the business fraternity and various stakeholders here to participate in this event that will showcase the ‘manufacturing growth story of India,'” Jain said. “It is noteworthy that that notwithstanding the decline in the crude oil prices, Kuwait is going ahead with its planned developmental projects,” he stated.
Talking about the bilateral relations, the ambassador said India-Kuwait relations are historically close, warm and friendly. “Our engagement has been multi-faceted and continues to grow. India has consistently been among the top ten trading partners of Kuwait,” he said. Total bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $14.58 billion during the financial year 2014-2015. India’s imports from Kuwait were worth $13.38 billion while India’s exports to Kuwait were $1.19 billion during the last two years.
“It is heartening to learn that the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) has made substantial investment in India in October 2015 through an IPO floated by Interglobe Aviation that operates IndiGo Airlines. The KIA has also announced last week an investment of $300 million in GMR Infrastructure that operates the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. This shows the confidence KIA has in Indian economy,” he said.
Talking about Indian economy, the ambassador said, “In an environment where economic growth is modest, India today stands as a bright spot among the global economies. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected India’s growth for 2015 at 7.3 percent which is forecast to grow to 7.5 percent in 2016,” he said.
Foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows to India during 2014-15 reached $44 billion. The Indian government has set an ambitious deadline of 2016 for implementing the goods and services tax (GST). A clear cut roadmap for lowering the corporate tax from 30 percent to 25 percent over the next four years has been laid down.
As a result of these measures, India has moved up in its rankings on a global index of the world’s most competitive economies compiled by World Economic Forum underlining the vibrancy of India’s economy. Similarly, Ernst & Young ranked India as No 1 attractive investment destination globally and IMF ranked India as No 1 among the world’s fastest growing economies. Moody’s Ratings revised India’s sovereign rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ‘stable’.
The representatives of Indian EPC companies such as TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Larson and Toubro, Simplex Projects Limited, Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd, ShapoorjiPallonji, Punj Godrej, Afcons Infrastructure Ltd, Dodsal Group and Essar Projects Ltd gave presentations on the projects being executed by them in Kuwait and highlighted their areas of specialization.
About 100 representatives from Kuwaiti EPC companies, senior Kuwaiti officials and businesspersons attended the conference. Indian EPC companies are executing various projects in the areas of oil & gas sector, housing, hospitals, universities, power transmission etc.
By Sajeev K Peter