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Agency urges Indian outlays

New Delhi reworks incentive scheme

The Indian government launched an initiative to promote startups in the country.

Thai investors are being urged to rev up outlays in India, especially in 14 sectors promoted by the Indian government, while New Delhi takes steps to strengthen its ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs.

Phusit Ratanakul Sereroengrit, director-general of the International Trade Promotion Department, said the Thai Trade Center in Mumbai recently informed officials India rejigged investment incentives and vows to work closely with related agencies to facilitate investment in 14 targeted sectors this year.

The 14 sectors are meant to encourage India’s manufacturing and raise the competitiveness of Indian firms in the global market.

The sectors comprise: pharmaceutical ingredients, pharmaceuticals, large-scale electronics, medical devices, electronic/technology products, telecom and networking products, food, white goods, high-efficiency solar power modules, automobiles and auto components, advance chemistry cell batteries, textiles and apparel, special steel, and drones and drone components.

Each Indian state is expected to see more active campaigns to promote investment in these sectors, offering good opportunities for Thai investors, said Mr Phusit.

He said the Indian government also wants to utilise startups as a key mechanism to mobilise funding and drive economic growth in the long run, allowing foreigners to co-invest in domestic startups. The government reports there are more than 84,000 startups in India.

The Startup India initiative was launched on Jan 16, 2016, to nurture innovation and encourage private investment in the startup ecosystem. An action plan with 19 steps was created spanning areas such as simplification and hand-holding; funding support and incentives; and industry-academia partnership and incubation.

Under the initiative, the Fund of Funds for Startups scheme, Startup India Seed Fund Scheme and Credit Guarantee Scheme for Startups were developed to provide capital at various stages of the startup business cycle.

Mr Phusit said many large Thai investors have projects in India, including in food, processing, aquaculture, dairy, ready-to-drink yoghurt, packaging, rubber products, construction materials, jewellery, furniture, automotive parts, and solar cells. There is vast potential for Thai investments in hotels, health and beauty services, construction and decoration, he said.

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