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  1. 1. Foreign Direct Investments in India INTRODUCTION The world is slowly becoming smaller and smaller day by day. The ever growing population and the literacy rate has slowly but surely ensured that the world is progressing forward. All the countries in the world are trying to stay ahead from each other technically and of course financially. Any country would like to be strong any aspect so that the world stands and notices them. The country wants to progress ahead of other countries and stay ahead of the competition. There are some countries that are considered as considered as “super powers”. These countries are mainly countries which are developed and are superior in any aspect than other developing countries. The so called “super powers” capture the maximum share of the market in the economy and hence rule the market. Ant upswing or downswing in these countries causes a major concern for other countries. Countries like USA, China, Japan and Russia are some of the major “super powers” of the world. The world has accepted the dollar to be the primitive currency for any trade. Similarly Euro has a great existence in the European markets. Due to the diverse conditions of trade and different trade practices, every country is compelled to interact with each other in exchanging thoughts and ideas. The developing and the least developed country have to take the help of these counties to stand firm on their feet. Let’s have a look at the World Economy in short: In the year 2002-2003, growth in global output (gross world product) (GWP) fell from 4.8% in 2000 to 2.2% in 2001 and 2.7% in 2002. Due to sluggishness in the EU economy (21.7% of GWP) and in the US economy (21.1% of GWP); continued stagnation in the Japanese economy (7.0% of GWP); and spillover effects in the less developed regions of the world. China, the second-largest national economy in the world (12% of GWP), proved an exception, continuing its rapid annual growth, officially announced as 8% but 1
  2. 2. Foreign Direct Investments in India estimated by some observers as perhaps two percentage points lower. India maintained a growth rate of around 6%, and its economic liberalisation pushed it forward into a modern economic superpower. Russia (2.6% of GWP), with 4% growth, continued to make uneven progress, its GDP per capita still only one-third that of the leading industrial nations. Externally, the nation-state, as a bedrock economic-political institution, is steadily losing control over international flows of people, goods, funds, and technology. Internally, the central government often finds its control over resources slipping as separatist regional movements - typically based on ethnicity - gain momentum, e.g., in many of the successor states of the former Soviet Union, in the former Yugoslavia, in India, and in Indonesia. The addition of 80 million people each year to an already overcrowded globe is exacerbating the problems of pollution, desertification, underemployment, epidemics, and famine. Because of their own internal problems and priorities, the industrialized countries devote insufficient resources to deal effectively with the poorer areas of the world, which, at least from the economic point of view, are becoming further marginalized. The euro as the common currency of much of Western Europe in January 1999, while paving the way for an integrated economic powerhouse, poses economic risks because of varying levels of income and cultural and political differences among the participating nations. The terrorist attacks on the US on 11 September 2001 accentuate a further growing risk to global prosperity, illustrated, for example, by the reallocation of resources away from investment to anti-terrorist programs. The opening of war in March 2003 between a US-led coalition and Iraq added new uncertainties to global economic prospects. 2
  3. 3. Foreign Direct Investments in India Since we are dealing in an Asian country here is the low-down on the Economy of Asia, the largest continent of the world. Following are some facts and figures about Asian Economy: The Economy of Asia comprises more than 4 billion people (60% of the world population), living in 46 different states. In addition to this there are six further states that lie partly in Asia, but are considered to belong to another region economically and politically. As in all world regions, the wealth of Asia differs widely between, and within, states. This is due to its vast size, meaning a huge range of differing cultures, environments, historical ties and government systems. The largest economy in Asia in terms of GDP is Japan, the Smallest East Timor, (although there is currently no reliable data for either Iraq or North Korea). This demonstrates the huge disparity in wealth in Asia, with Japan being the world's second largest economy, and North Korea being one of the poorest. Asia was relatively rich in the ancient times. China was a major economic power and attracted many to the East and for many the legendary wealth and prosperity of the ancient culture of India personified Asia, attracting European commerce, exploration and colonialism. The accidental discovery of America by Columbus in search for India demonstrates this deep fascination. The Silk Road became the main East-West trading route in the Asian hither land while the Straits of Malacca stood as a major sea route. In the Straits of Malacca, Malacca established itself as an important port in Asia. Prior to World War II, most of Asia was under colonial rule. Only relatively few managed to stay independent in face of constant pressure from many European powers. Japan in particular managed to develop its economy thanks to reformation 3
  4. 4. Foreign Direct Investments in India done in the 19th century. The reformation was comprehensive and is today known as the Meiji Restoration. The Japanese economy continued to grow well into the 20th century. Their ever increasing economy created various shortages of resources essential to the economic growth. As a result, the Japanese expansion began and a great part of Korea and China were annexed and thus, allowing the Japanese to secure strategic resources. At the same time, Southeast Asia was prospering due to trade and the introduction of various new technologies of that time. The volume of trade continued to increase with the opening of the Suez Canal in the 1860s. Singapore, founded in 1819 rose to prominence as trade between the east and the west increased at an incredible rate. The British colony of Malaya, now part of Malaysia, was the world's largest producer of tin and rubber. The Dutch East Indies, now Indonesia on the other hand was known for its spices production. Both the British and the Dutch created their own trading companies to manage their trade flow in Asia. The British created the British East India Company while the Dutch formed Dutch East India Company. Both companies maintained trade monopoly of their respective colonies. In 1908, crude oil was first discovered in Persia, modern day Iran. Afterwards, many oil fields were discovered and it was learnt later that the Mideast processes the world's largest oil stock. This made the rulers of the Arab nations very rich though the socioeconomic development in that region lagged behind. In the early 1930s, the world underwent a global economic depression, today known as the Great Depression. Asia was not spared and suffered the same pain as Europe and the United States. The volume of trade decreased dramatically all around Asia and indeed the world. With falling demand, prices of various goods starting to fall and further impoverished the locals and foreigners alike. In 1941, Japan invaded Malaya and hence, begun World War II in Asia. 4
  5. 5. Foreign Direct Investments in India After the liberalization of the Indian Economy undertaken by the then Finance Minister and current Prime Minister of India Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Indian economy coupled with the Chinese economy which was already booming with the wise economic measures undertaken by Jiang Zemin powered Asia to being one of the hotspots for world trade. Currently, as these two economies are growing at well over 6% per year, Asia has started showing its potential. One of the favorable (or unfavorable, depending upon one's point of view) is the sheer size of the population in this region. Meanwhile, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia emerged as the new Asian tigers with their GDP grew well above 7% per year in the 80s and the 90s. The economies were mainly driven by growing exports. The Philippines began to open up its once- stagnant economy in the early 1990's. Throughout the 1990s, the manufacturing ability and cheap labor markets in Asian developing nations allowed companies there to establish themselves in many of the industries previously dominated by developed-nation companies. Asia became one of the largest sources of automobiles, machinery, audio equipment and other electronics. At the end of 1997, Thailand was hit by currency speculators and the value of baht along with its annual growth rate fell dramatically. Soon after, the crisis spread to Indonesia, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore and many other Asian economies and inflicted great economic damage to the affected countries. In fact, some of the economies actually contracted. This later would be known as the Asian financial crisis. By 1999, most countries have already recovered from the crisis. 5
  6. 6. Foreign Direct Investments in India GLOBALISATION The term Globalisation means the changes in societies and the world economy that are the result of dramatically increased trade and cultural exchange. In specifically economic contexts, it is often understood to refer almost exclusively to the effects of trade, particularly trade liberalization or free trade. Between 1910 and 1950, a series of political and economic upheavals dramatically reduced the volume and importance of international trade flows. More specifically, beginning with WWI and until the end of WWII, when the Bretton Woods institutions were created (i.e. the IMF and the GATT), globalization trends reversed. In the post-World War II environment, fostered by international economic institutions and rebuilding programs, international trade dramatically expanded. With the 1970s, the effects of this trade became increasingly visible, both in terms of the benefits and the disruptive effects. In simple terms the word globalization means coming together of different countries’ cultures’ traditions and races. It’s like creating a global village where there is free transfer of thoughts and practices. This global village has a culmination of elements which are essential in creating a wholesome package for achieving the objective of every organization or person obtaining maximum profit. Globalisation has brought in new opportunities to developing countries. Greater access to developed country markets and technology transfer hold out promise improved productivity and higher living standard. But globalisation has also thrown up new challenges like growing inequality across and within nations, volatility in financial market and environmental deteriorations. Another negative aspect of globalisation is that a great majority of developing countries remain removed from the process. Globalization also affects the local market. Due to competition consumers want more at lesser prices. There are any brands available in market today. Any consumers who want better quality at lower prices will go for cheaper products which are of high quality. Globalisation has opened doors for the world to market any products anywhere in the world any time at any price. Due to the harsh step taken by the countries to allow foreign products to enter the market has left any local dealers dissatisfied. The local dealers are not able 6
  7. 7. Foreign Direct Investments in India to get the best rates for their products. There is increasing competition which reduces the prices of the products further down leading to more losses for the producers. Impact of Globalisation on India India opened up the economy in the early nineties following a major crisis that led by a foreign exchange crunch that dragged the economy close to defaulting on loans. The response was a slew of Domestic and External sector policy measures partly prompted by the immediate needs and partly by the demand of the multilateral organisations. The new policy regime radically pushed forward in favour of amore open and market oriented economy. Major measures initiated as a part of the liberalisation and globalisation strategy in the early nineties included scrapping of the industrial licensing regime, reduction in the number of areas reserved for the public sector, amendment of the monopolies and the restrictive trade practices act, start of the privatisation programme, reduction in tariff rates and change over to market determined exchange rates. Over the years there has been a steady liberalisation of the current account transactions, more and more sectors opened up for foreign direct investments and portfolio investments facilitating entry of foreign investors in telecom, roads, ports, airports, insurance and other major sectors. The Indian tariff rates reduced sharply over the decade from a weighted average of 72.5% in 1991-92 to 24.6 in 1996-97.Though tariff rates went up slowly in the late nineties it touched 35.1% in 2001-02. India is committed to reduced tariff rates. Peak tariff rates are to be reduced to be reduced to the minimum with a peak rate of 20%, in another 2 years most non-tariff barriers have been dismantled by March 2002, including almost all quantitative restrictions. This is major improvement given that India is growth rate in the 1970’s was very low at 3% and GDP growth in countries like Brazil, Indonesia, Korea, and Mexico was more than twice that of India. Though India’s average annual growth rate almost doubled in the Eighties to 5.9% it was still lower than the growth rate in China, Korea 7
  8. 8. Foreign Direct Investments in India and Indonesia. The pick up in GDP growth has helped improve India’s global position. Consequently India’s position in the global economy has improved from the 8th position in 1991 to 4th place in 2001, when GDP is calculated on a purchasing power parity basis. Consequences of globalisation on India The implications of globalisation for a national economy are many. Globalisation has intensified interdependence and competition between economies in the world market. This is reflected in Interdependence in regard to trading in goods and services and in movement of capital. As a result domestic economic developments are not determined entirely by domestic policies and market conditions. Rather, they are influenced by both domestic and international policies and economic conditions. It is thus clear that a globalising economy, while formulating and evaluating its domestic policy cannot afford to ignore the possible actions and reactions of policies and developments in the rest of the world. Where does India stand in terms of Global Integration? India clearly lags in globalisation. Numbers of countries have a clear lead among them China, large part of east and far east Asia and Eastern Europe. Let’s look at a few indicators how much we lag. • Over the past decade FDI flows into India have averaged around 0.5% of GDP against 5% for China 5.5% for Brazil. Whereas FDI inflows into China now exceeds US $ 50 billion annually. It is only US $ 4billion in the case of India • Consider global trade – India’s share of world merchandise exports increased from .05% to .07% over the pat 20 years. Over the same period China’s share has tripled to almost 4%. 8
  9. 9. Foreign Direct Investments in India • India’s share of global trade is similar to that of the Philippines, an economy 6 times smaller according to IMF estimates. India under trades by 70-80% given its size, proximity to markets and labour cost advantages. • As Amartya Sen and many other have pointed out that India, as a geographical, politico-cultural entity has been interacting with the outside world throughout history and still continues to do so. It has to adapt, assimilate and contribute. This goes without saying even as we move into what is called a globalised world which is distinguished from previous eras from by faster travel and communication, greater trade linkages, denting of political and economic sovereignty and greater acceptance of democracy as a way of life. FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT (FDI) Definitions of FDI are contained in the Balance of Payments Manual: Fifth Edition (BPM5) (Washington, D.C., International Monetary Fund, 1993) and the Detailed Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment: Third Edition (BD3) (Paris, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 1996). According to the BPM5, FDI refers to an investment made to acquire lasting interest in enterprises operating outside of the economy of the investor. Further, in cases of FDI, the investor’s purpose is to gain an effective voice in the management of the enterprise. The foreign entity or group of associated entities that makes the investment is termed the "direct investor". The unincorporated or incorporated enterprise-a branch or subsidiary, respectively, in which direct investment is made-is referred to as a "direct investment enterprise". Some degree of equity ownership is almost always considered to be associated with an effective voice in the management of an enterprise; the BPM5 suggests a threshold of 10 per cent of equity ownership to qualify an investor as a foreign direct investor. 9
  10. 10. Foreign Direct Investments in India Once a direct investment enterprise has been identified, it is necessary to define which capital flows between the enterprise and entities in other economies should be classified as FDI. Since the main feature of FDI is taken to be the lasting interest of a direct investor in an enterprise, only capital that is provided by the direct investor either directly or through other enterprises related to the investor should be classified as FDI. The forms of investment by the direct investor, which are classified as FDI, are equity capital, the reinvestment of earnings and the provision of long-term and short-term intra-company loans (between parent and affiliate enterprises). According to the BD3 of the OECD, a direct investment enterprise is an incorporated or unincorporated enterprise in which a single foreign investor either owns 10 per cent or more of the ordinary shares or voting power of an enterprise (unless it can be proven that the 10 per cent ownership does not allow the investor an effective voice in the management) or owns less than 10 per cent of the ordinary shares or voting power of an enterprise, yet still maintains an effective voice in management. An effective voice in management only implies that direct investors are able to influence the management of an enterprise and does not imply that they have absolute control. The most important characteristic of FDI, which distinguishes it from foreign portfolio investment, is that it is undertaken with the intention of exercising control over an enterprise. FDI flows constitute capital provided by foreign investors, directly or indirectly, to enterprises in another economy. The three main components of FDI are: • Equity Capital, which involves purchase by the foreign investor of shares of an enterprise in a country other than its own. • Reinvested Earnings, which refer to the foreign investor’s share of earnings that are not remitted to it by the affiliate as dividends, but are reinvested or ploughed back into the affiliate enterprise in the host country. 10
  11. 11. Foreign Direct Investments in India • Working capital, which involves short and long term borrowing and lending of funds by the parent investors and their affiliate enterprises in the host country. FDI can be classified on the basis of the mode of entry of the foreign investor into a country. It can enter a country in the form of Greenfield investment or mergers and acquisitions (M&As). • A Greenfield investment involves the setting up of new units or facilities by foreign firms. For example, Silicon Chip Company of Taiwan coming to India and setting up an Indian subsidiary with new plants in order to manufacture silicon chips. • Cross border M&As, on the other hand, involve taking over or merging with an existing local firm. For example, Coca-Cola company taking over Thums-Up in India. KEY BENEFITS OF FDI 1. Capital formation FDI brings in financial capital, which is scarce in developing countries. It has the potential to add to the productive capacity or capital formation of the host country. 2. Improve balance of payments Greater FDI into the export sector can improve the current account balance and hence the overall balance of payments. 3. Growth in net domestic savings & investment FDI can encourage domestic saving and investment by encouraging the setting up of new enterprises in the host country. Foreign businesses can increase the demand for domestically produced inputs, which could lead to expansion of existing domestic units or setting up of new ones. Domestic units can also be set up to for processing of semi-finished products produced by foreign corporations or to engage in retailing, marketing etc. 11
  12. 12. Foreign Direct Investments in India 4. Transfer of inputs, technology and skills FDI transfers technology and skills to developing countries. FDI brings in new varieties of capital units and better quality of factors of production including management, which improves productive efficiency in the host country. 5. Net job creation FDI can involve investment in new sectors, or setting up and expanding business in thriving sectors. This can lead to increased employment opportunities in the host economy. 6. Environmental benefits Transnational corporations often develop environmental-friendly technologies at lower costs and can actually induce local firms to adopt good environmental practices. 7. FDI assures considerable stability in foreign inflows of funds FDI as compared to other international flows is stable. Hence it has the potential of ensuring a stable flow of foreign funds into the developing economy. 8. FDI can lead to higher export growth If the motive of the foreign investor is to tap the export market of the host country then it can lead to higher export growth. For e.g., if FDI flows into the garments export industry in India, it will bring in financial resources and high technology production processes. By taking advantage of skilled labour in India in this sector, it can make garments export of India more competitive. 12
  13. 13. Foreign Direct Investments in India 9. Access to international markets FDI can improve the competitive efficiency of domestic exports and hence improve market access of goods. International production networks offer market access to end products produced in any economy. COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH FDI 1. Limited addition to capital FDI might not contribute to total capital accumulation, when it does not involve the creation of new units/investment. Concerns are often raised when FDI enters more in the form of Mergers and Acquisitions than as Greenfield investments. M & As involves taking extensive control over the decision-making and management over the merger. Lack of local representation might lead to decisions being made without taking into account needs and conditions of domestic economy and society. Repatriation of profits can lead to withdrawal of capital from the host country. 2. Worsen balance of payments FDI could have a negative impact on the balance of payments situation of the host country through an increase in imports of inputs and through remittances of royalties and dividends abroad by the subsidiaries. For example, 75 per cent of profits made by US firms abroad returns to the US. 3. FDI can bring about a fall in net domestic investment Foreign corporations often form monopolies in the domestic market. Due to their sheer size, good quality and low cost products and extensive advertising of their products they might drive out small-scale firms. FDI, which is expected to contribute to growth in domestic investment, often fails to, due to the withdrawal of investments. There have been several instances in India where approved FDI proposals have failed to translate into actual investments, on 13
  14. 14. Foreign Direct Investments in India account of foreign investors getting put off by long- drawn procedures involved, lack of infrastructure facilities etc 4. Transfer pricing Transfer pricing relates to the way in which prices are determined for transactions between subsidiaries and parent companies. It involves subsidiaries paying a higher price for imports from the parent company and then exporting products to parent companies at a lower price than the competitive market price. Such distortion in prices affects the free flow of resources between countries and also has a negative impact on the balance of payments situation of the host country. 5. The downside Developing countries might not have the ability to absorb high technology imparted by foreign firms. For example, domestic conditions such as poor infrastructure, low levels of education, rigidities in labour legislation and other regulations are obstacles facing the Indian economy. Some foreign corporations can bring in technology that is not appropriate to suit the conditions of the host developing country. 6. Net job loss Job creation might only take place in already well-developed urban sectors where the levels of education, training and infrastructure are high. Small scale and rural businesses have a low capacity to attract FDI and as a result are left out. They can often be forced out of business due to lack of financial resources or be forced into using informal sources of financing. 14
  15. 15. Foreign Direct Investments in India 7. Environmental costs Foreign investors can take advantage of weak environmental regulation in developing countries, by using technologies that are cheap but harmful to the environment. 8. FDI may contribute to financial instability Given the capacities and constraints of developing countries, free capital movements make them more vulnerable to both external and internal shocks. Developing countries’ dependence on foreign finance to cover their current account deficits also makes them more financially fragile. 9. FDI might not encourage export growth If the FDI is aimed at capturing the domestic market, then it will not have much impact on growth of exports. Licensing conditions in the host country may restrict exports to some or all foreign markets. 10. No contribution to market access If FDI comes into a country only to exploit domestic markets, it does not contribute to greater market access for domestic country exports We can see that FDI has both positive as well as negative implications. 15
  16. 16. Foreign Direct Investments in India BALANCE OF PAYMENTS (BOP) FDI is also shown in the Balance of Payments of any country. The Balance Of Payments (BOP) is a measure of the payments that flow into and out from a particular country from and to other countries. It is determined by a country's exports and imports of goods, services, and financial capital, as well as financial transfers. BOP is a indicative study showing the flows i.e. inflows or outflows of any country to another country. If there is more money flowing into a country than there is flowing out, that country has a positive balance of payments; if, on the other hand, more money flows out than in, the balance of payments is negative. A country's international transactions can be grouped into three categories: (I) Current Account • Exports 1. Merchandise (tangible goods) 2. Services (invisible trade, eg. legal, consulting, royalties, patents etc.) 3. Factor Income (interest, dividend or any other foreign investment income) • Imports 1. Merchandise 2. Services 3. Factor income • Unilateral Transfers (one way "unrequitted" payments, eg.foreign aid, grants, gifts etc.) 16
  17. 17. Foreign Direct Investments in India (II) Capital Account 1. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) 2. Portfolio Investment o Equity Securities o Debt Securities 3. Other Investment (transactions in currency, bank deposits, trade credits etc.) 4. Statistical discrepancies (III) Foreign Reserves • Official Reserve account, includes gold, foreign exchanges, SDRs, reserves in IMF • Current account: records net flow of money into a country resulting from trade in goods and services and transfer payments made from abroad. The current • account itself comprises of 3 accounts : trade account, income account and transfers account. A trade deficit(surplus) arises when there is a deficit(surplus) in the Merchandise trade within the current account • Capital account: records net flow of money from purchases and sales of assets such as stocks, bonds and land. Money coming in (+), or leaving (−): • + Exports • − Imports • − Increase of owned assets abroad • + Increase of foreign-owned assets in the country 17
  18. 18. Foreign Direct Investments in India An account may show a surplus or a deficit. For example, a trade surplus implies that a country's exports are higher than its imports and hence there is a net flow of money into the country. A trade deficit, on the other hand, implies that the country's imports exceed its exports and hence there is a net flow of money out of the country. For a country to have a zero balance of payments, a current account deficit must be balanced by a capital account surplus. The US have been running a negative current account for a long while, which is financed through a positive financial account. The only way to buy more than you sell is to borrow money. A country will have a negative balance of payments (i.e., there is to be a net flow of money out of the country) if the net of the current account and the capital account is a deficit. Similarly, there will be a positive balance of payments (i.e., a net flow of money into a country) if the net of the current and the capital account results in a surplus. WHY ARE FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENTS MADE? Developing countries, emerging economies and countries in transition have come increasingly to see FDI as a source of economic development and modernisation, income growth and employment. Countries have liberalised their FDI regimes and pursued other policies to attract investment. They have addressed the issue of how best to pursue domestic policies to maximise the benefits of foreign presence in the domestic economy. Given the appropriate host-country policies and a basic level of development, a preponderance of studies shows that FDI triggers technology spillovers, assists human capital formation, contributes to international trade integration, helps create a more competitive business environment and enhances enterprise development. All of 18
  19. 19. Foreign Direct Investments in India these contribute to higher economic growth, which is the most potent tool for alleviating poverty in developing countries. Moreover, beyond the strictly economic benefits, FDI may help improve environmental and social conditions in the host country by, for example, transferring “cleaner” technologies and leading to more socially responsible corporate policies. Some countries have a flexible policy to allow FDI into their country. This FDI flows not only big in money but also bring a lot of wealth in knowledge. The technology transfer is the most popular form of FDI into any country. Most empirical studies conclude that FDI contributes to both factor productivity and income growth in host countries, beyond what domestic investment normally would trigger. It is more difficult, however, to assess the magnitude of this impact, not least because large FDI inflows to developing countries often concur with unusually high growth rates triggered by unrelated factors. Whether, as sometimes asserted, the positive effects of FDI are mitigated by a partial “crowding out” of domestic investment is far from clear. Some researchers have found evidence of crowding out, while others conclude that FDI may actually serve to increase Domestic investment. Regardless, even where crowding out does take place, the net effect generally remains beneficial, not least as the replacement tends to result in the release of scarce domestic funds for other investment purposes. In the least developed economies, FDI seems to have a somewhat smaller effect on growth, which has been attributed to the presence of “threshold externalities”. Apparently, developing countries need to have reached a certain level of development in education, technology, infrastructure and health before being able to benefit from a foreign presence in their markets. Imperfect and underdeveloped financial markets may also prevent a country from reaping the full benefits of FDI. Weak financial intermediation hits domestic enterprises much harder than it does multinational enterprises (MNEs). In some cases it may lead to a scarcity of financial resources that precludes them from seizing the business opportunities arising from the foreign presence. Foreign investors’ participation in physical infrastructure and in the financial sectors (subject to adequate regulatory frameworks) can help on these two grounds. 19
  20. 20. Foreign Direct Investments in India As countries develop and approach industrialised- nation status, inward FDI contributes to their further integration into the global economy by engendering and boosting foreign trade flows. Apparently, several factors are at play. They include the development and strengthening of international networks of related enterprises and an increasing importance of foreign subsidiaries in MNEs’ strategies for distribution, sales and marketing. In both cases, this leads to an important policy conclusion, namely that a developing country’s ability to attract FDI is influenced significantly by the entrant’s subsequent access to engage in importing and exporting activities. This, in turn, implies that would-be host countries should consider a policy of openness to international trade as central in their strategies to benefit from FDI, and that, by restricting imports from developing countries, home countries effectively curtail these countries’ ability to attract foreign direct investment. Host countries could consider a strategy of attracting FDI through raising the size of the relevant market by pursuing policies of regional trade liberalisation and integration. ECONOMY OF INDIA India has had robust economic growth since 1991 when the government reversed its socialist-inspired policy of a large public sector with extensive controls on the private sector and began to liberalize the economy. Liberalization has proceeded in fits and starts since then, mainly due to political pressures, but the economy has responded well by posting strong growth in many sectors. A certain amount of dissatisfaction is expressed in the face of these changes in the Indian economy- some of which are that a quarter of the population is still too poor to be able to afford an adequate diet, electricity shortages still continue in many regions and the manufacturing sector has slowed down at the expense of soft skills. 20
  21. 21. Foreign Direct Investments in India With a GDP of 568 billion (B$) ($3.096 trillion (T$) at PPP) India has the world's 12th largest economy (and the 4th largest when adjusted for PPP). However, the large population means that per capita income is quite low. In 2003 the World Bank ranked India 143rd in PPP per capita income and 160th in real terms, among 208 countries and territories. About 60% of the population depends directly on agriculture. Industry and services sectors are growing in importance and account for 25% and 51% of GDP, respectively, while agriculture contributes about 25.6% of GDP. More than 25% of the population lives below the poverty line, but a large and growing middle class of 300 million has disposable income for consumer goods. India embarked on a series of economic reforms in 1991 in reaction to a severe foreign exchange crisis. Those reforms have included liberalized foreign investment and exchange regimes, significant reductions in tariffs and other trade barriers, reform and modernization of the financial sector, and significant adjustments in government monetary and fiscal policies. These economic reforms form an integral part in the growth and development of India. These economic reforms are explained below in detail. FOREIGN INVESTMENT POLICY OF INDIA The Government of India introduced many foreign policies to attract foreign direct investors. The investment policy was made keeping in mind the growth pattern and the problems associated while attracting capital from outside. The foreign policy on investment can be traced from the period of independence to present day. Here is how the different Governments of India at various times, political, economic and social time frames made the foreign policy on investment to attract maximum foreign wealth. 21
  22. 22. Foreign Direct Investments in India 1. “Cautious Welcome Policy” from Independence to the emergence of crisis in the late 60’s (1948-1966). 2. “Selective and Restrictive Policy” from 1967 till the second oil crises in 1979. 3. “Partial Liberalisation Policy” from 1980 to 1990. 4. “Liberalisation and Open Door Policy” since 1991 onwards, signifying liberal investment environment. These were the different phases from which the foreign investment policy had to pass through. Each of the phases is explained below: 1. “Cautious Welcome Policy” India lacked a policy of its own on foreign capital before independence because it derives its faith in total laissez faire from the British Government. Resultantly, foreign enterprises found it convenient to export products to India and were justified by local circumstances to setup branches or wholly owned subsidiaries. Local entrepreneurs, which did not have many prospects for obtaining foreign collaborations, setup industrial units without foreign collaborators as in case of cotton textiles. Cement and paper or obtained the services of foreign consultants as in the case of steel (TISCO). The advent of Independence brought into focus the various issues involved in the import of foreign capital and the expertise into the country, and the need for defining a policy with respect to foreign investment. The new independent government had specific views on industrialisation and role of foreign capital. This was reflected in Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948. The Industrial Policy Resolution of 1948 recognised that participation of foreign capital and enterprise, particularly as regards of industrial techniques and 22
  23. 23. Foreign Direct Investments in India knowledge would be of value for the rapid industrialisation of the country. However, it was necessary that the conditions under which foreign capital could participate in the Indian industry should be carefully regulated in the national interest. As a rule, the major interest in ownership and effective control would be normally in Indian hands though provision was made for special cases in a manner calculated to serve the national interest. It was stated by the Prime Minister Shri Jawaharlal Nehru in April, 1949 that once foreign investment had been allowed to be made in the country, it would be given a non-discriminatory treatment. Firms with foreign investment would be treated at par with Indian firms. There was assurance for free remittance of profits, dividends, and interest as well as repatriation of capital. In the event of nationalisation, fair and equitable compensation was to be given to the foreign investors. In the mid-1950s when industrialisation got underway foreign capital ventured into India primarily with technical collaborations. However, the foreign exchange crisis of 1958 marked a change in foreign collaboration in India in two ways: a) foreign enterprise began to take equity participation more frequently, b) more technical collaborations started to accept equity participation in lieu of royalties and fees. After 1958, Indian entrepreneurs were given provisional licenses required to secure part or all of the foreign exchange by way of foreign investment. The government extended the AID Investment Guarantee Program to cover American private investment in India. It gave a number of tax concessions to foreign enterprise. The licensing procedure was streamlined to avoid delays in approvals of foreign collaboration. Double taxation avoidance agreements with Finland, France, USA, Pakistan, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Japan and West Germany were signed. 23
  24. 24. Foreign Direct Investments in India In 1963-64 the Government of India decided to give ‘letters of intent’ to foreign companies to proceed with their capital projects, instead of making the foreign company find a partner and then giving the ‘letter of intent’ to the Indian partner. It was also decided to make the services of IDBI available for rupee financing such undertakings. The Finance Act, 1965 made provision for certain additional tax concessions. The interests accruing in a Non-Resident Account on money transferred from abroad through recognised banking channels and deposited in any bank was exempted from tax. Also the tax exemption limit of 5 years allowed in respect of salaries of foreign technicians was extended to 7 years. Tax rates on income assessable in India of non-residents were brought down at par with those applicable to income of residents. The rate of deduction of tax at source from non-residents income was also lowered. The Act further provided for the refund of capital gains tax arising out from the transfer of shares held by non-resident in an Indian company, provided the sales proceeds were invested in India. 2. “Selective and Restrictive Policy” Under the new industrial licensing policy, announced in February 1970, the larger industrial houses and foreign enterprises were permitted to setup industries in the core and heavy investments sectors expect industries reserved for public sector. By notification dated July 25th 1970, they established undertakings and expanded production in industries in others sectors provided they undertook specific export commitments. However, in order to prevent a serious draft on their reserves, the remittance facilities in respect of dividends declared by 100% foreign owned companies were subject to some terms. In 1972-73, though the Government Policy towards foreign investment continued to attract foreign investment in India, the policy became highly selective. Foreign Exchange Regulation Act (FEMA) was amended in 1973, to regulate the entry of 24
  25. 25. Foreign Direct Investments in India foreign capital in the form of branches, non-resident Indians investment and employment of foreigners in India. As per the amended rules all branches of foreign companies in India and Indian Joint Stock Companies in which non- resident interest was more than 40% were expected to bring down their non- resident share holdings to 40% within a period of 2 years. However, basic and core industries, export oriented industry or industries engaged in manufacturing activities needing sophisticated technology or tea plantation were allowed to carry on business with non-resident interest up to 74%. Such companies were also exempted from taking permission from RBI to carry on business provided they did not exceed the licensed capacity and undertook no expansion or diversification of activities. Foreign shipping companies were given permission to carry on business in India in October 1974. With a view to encourage investment by non-resident Indians, in October 1975, the government decided to permit non-residents and persons of Indian origin to invest in the equity capital of permitted industries up to a maximum of 20% of new issues of capital of new industries. Such investments were made by remittances from abroad through approved banking channels or out of funds held in Non-Resident Account. The investment could be in addition to any foreign equity investment that could be permitted by the government in the company concerned. In October 1976, the scheme under which non-resident Indians were allowed to start industrial units in India by bringing in imported machinery was liberalised to permit equity investment upto 74% without any minimum limit in a number of priority sector industries. The permission was also granted for investment in other industries provided the investor undertook to export 60% of the output (75% in the case of small scale industries). The scheme was applicable only to new units 25
  26. 26. Foreign Direct Investments in India and to existing industrial undertaking seeking expansion and diversification. Capital invested under the scheme was eligible for repatriation after the unit had gone into commercial production subject to adherence to export obligation. A statement on Industrial Policy was presented by the Government to Parliament on December 23, 1977. Under this statement, foreign investment and acquisition of technology necessary for India’s industrial development could be allowed where they ere in national interest and on the terms determined by the government. As a rule majority interest in ownership and effective control could be in Indian hands expect in highly export oriented and sophisticated technology areas and 100% export oriented areas. Where foreign investments had been approved, there could be complete freedom of remittances of profits, royalties, dividends and repatriation of capital subject to the usual regulations. The government had made it clear that it would strictly enforce the provisions of FERA, the companies which diluted their non-resident holdings to less than 40% would be treated at par with Indian companies, expect in cases specifically notified. Their future expansion would be guided by the same principles as those applicable to Indian companies. 3. “Partial Liberalisation Policy” In order to tap resources from oil exporting developing countries, the government revised the foreign investment policy in October 1980 so that investment proposals from these countries need not be associated with the transfer of technology and that investment could be portfolio nature. However, a ban was imposed by the government on financial and technical collaborations in 22 categories of industries such as cement, paper and consumer goods and several other industries where indigenous technology within the country. In the 1982-83, the government liberalised facilities with regard to bank deposits and investments in equity shares of the corporate sector. These facilities were 26
  27. 27. Foreign Direct Investments in India further liberalised in July-August, 1982 to cover preference shares and debentures issued by Indian companies. The Reserve Bank of India also simplified the exchange procedure formalities to facilitate such investments. The government also decided to borrow from international capital markets to the extent that the availability of the low cost unilateral and bilateral resources fell short of the requirement of external resources. In line with this policy, Indian enterprises both public and private companies had been selectively permitted to raise funds abroad. However, the facilities available for deposits for deposits in non-resident account and in shares of Indian companies were confined to non-resident individuals of Indian nationality or origin. Liberalised facilities were extended to overseas companies, partnership firms, trusts, societies and other corporate bodies in which atleast 60% of ownership/beneficial interest was vested in non-resident individuals of Indian origin or nationality. It was specified that in the case of investment, with repatrability, by non-resident Indians and overseas corporate bodies can make portfolio investments through stock exchanges in India in equity/preference shares and convertible/non convertible debentures without nay limit on the quantum or value. They could also invest in the new issues of public or private limited companies in any business activity (expect real estate business) upto 100% of the issued capital without any obligation to associate resident Indian participation in the equity capital at any time. Payment of purchases either through stock exchanges or for direct investment in new issues could be made by the eligible investor either a) by fresh remittances from abroad or b) out of the funds held in non-resident external accounts designated in rupees or in foreign currencies and ordinary non-resident share accounts. In 1983-84 the government provided the incentives in the form of: 27
  28. 28. Foreign Direct Investments in India • Taxation of investment income derived by a non-resident of Indian nationality or Indian origin from the specified investments and long-term capital gains arising out of transfer of these assets at a flat rate of 20% plus surcharge of 121/2 % of such income tax, • Exemption of long-term capital gains arising from the transfer of any foreign exchange asset, • Exemption from wealth tax of the value of foreign exchange assets acquired and held by non-resident, • Exemption from gift tax of gifts of foreign exchange assets by non- residents Indian to their relatives in India, • Additional interest of 1% on investments by NRIs in the 6-year NSCs would be paid provided subscription for these certificates were received in foreign exchange. In May 1983, relaxations granted to NRIs investment were subjected to a specific limit. An overall ceiling of: • 5% of the value of the total paid up equity of the company concerned, • 5% of the total paid up value of each series of convertible debentures was fixed on purchases of equity stock exchanges on repatriation and non- repatriation basis together. In 1985-86, the government abolished the Estate Duty, which was considered as major hurdles in the way of inward remittances to India by non-resident of Indian origin or nationality. The surcharge on income tax was also abolished bringing down the effective rate of tax on NRI income from 22.5% to 20%. 28
  29. 29. Foreign Direct Investments in India During 1986-87, the government permitted NRIs to subscribe to the Memorandum and Articles of Association of a new company and take up their share up to the face value of Rs. 10,000 for the purpose of its incorporation. It also permitted Indian companies with more than 40% non-resident interest to acquire immovable properties in India. Further, NRIs were allowed to invest: • Upto 100% of the equity capital in sick industrial units, • In new issues of Indian shipping companies under the 40% scheme, • In diagnostic centres in India under 40% or 74% scheme. The government also decided to remove the quantitative ceiling of Rs. 40 lakhs for making investment in India by NRIs in private limited companies under the 40% scheme. With a view to augmenting the inflows, the Foreign Currency (NR) Account Scheme was extended to cover DM and Yen and a differential interest rate scheme was introduced with effect from August 1, 1988 4. “Liberalisation and Open Door Policy” As a part of the structural adjustment policies introduced in the Indian economy by the government of India since July 1991, policies relating to foreign financial participation in Indian companies and those relating to foreign technology agreements had also undergone a radical change. Three tiers for approving proposals for foreign direct investment in the country were introduced: 1. The Reserve Bank’s automatic approval system. 2. Secretariat for Industrial Approvals for considering proposals within the general. 29
  30. 30. Foreign Direct Investments in India 3. Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) specially created to invite, negotiate and facilitate substantial investment by international companies that would provide access to high technology and work markets. In case of investment with benefits of repatriation of capital and income NRIs and OCBs were permitted to make investment in shares and debentures through stock exchanges upto 1% of the paid up value of equity/preference and convertible debentures of the company. No limit either on quantum or value was stipulated with regard to purchases of non-convertible debentures. With the benefit of repatriation, investments in new issues of non-convertible debentures were allowed without any monetary limit. However, in case of new issue of shares and convertible debentures through prospectus, they could invest upto 40% of the new capital raised with repatriation benefit. They could also invest in the capital raised other than through prospectus upto 40% of the new issue of shares and debentures of any company (Public or Private) subject to a quantitative ceiling of Rs. 40 lakhs. The liberalised facility of direct investment by NRIs was confined only to capital raised by Indian companies or setting up new industrial projects or expansion/diversification of existing industrial undertaking. However, with the abolition of the list of industries which were not open direct investment by non- resident and with the addition of the hotel industry, the scope for investment by NRIs had been widened. NRIs and OCBs had also been permitted to invest 12%, 6 year NSCs and it was exempted from wealth, income and gift taxes. The government of India permitted equity share holding of foreign investors to be maintained at a level of 51% or below. It was the same level of foreign equity, which the foreign majority companies had been allowed under the FERA even when there was a likelihood of its reduction as a result of exercise of convertibility clause option. As per the new policy, fully owned foreign enterprises were allowed to setup giant power projects without the requirement to balance dividend payments with 30
  31. 31. Foreign Direct Investments in India export earnings. FERA companies (those having more than 40% foreign equity) were treated at par with Indian companies. FERA companies were also given the facility of 51% equity. Companies could use foreign brands names and trademarks on goods for sale within the country. Expect the 22 industries in the consumer goods sector, the earlier stipulation that dividend remittances of companies receiving approval under the foreign equity upto 51% scheme must be balanced by export earnings over a period of 7 years was scrapped in respect of all foreign direct investment including NRIs and OCBs. The foreign private equity in oil refineries was limited at 26%. Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) were permitted to invest in all the securities traded on primary and secondary markets. Portfolio investments in primary and secondary markets were subjected to a ceiling of 24% of issued share capital for the total holdings of all registered FIIs, in any company. The holding of a single FII in any company was subjected to a ceiling of 5% of total issued capital. NRIs and OCBs could invest with full repatriation benefits up to 100% in high priority industries and export oriented industries and sick units, and power generation. In the context of such revisions, the earlier 74% scheme has been discontinued. During 1993-94 the tax rate on short term capital gains were reduced from 75% to 30%. An Electronic Hardware Technology Park (EHTP) scheme was setup to allow 100% equity participation, duty free import of capital goods and a tax holiday. The ceiling on foreign equity participation in Indian companies engaged in mining activity was hiked to 50%. Disinvestment by foreign investors was permitted on a near automatic basis on stock exchanges in India through a registered merchant banker or a private stock broker or on a private basis. NRIs (but not OCBs) were allowed to invest upto 100% on non-repatriation basis in any partnership/sole proprietorship or in public/private limited companies (expect in agricultural or plantation activities) without RBI’s approval. 31
  32. 32. Foreign Direct Investments in India In 1994-95, the Reserve Bank of India decided to allow NRIs/OCBs and also FIIs, to invest in all activities expect agriculture and plantation activities on a repatriation basis. The aggregate allocation of shares/convertible debentures qualifying for repatriation benefits to such non-residing investors could not exceed 24% of the new issue. However, FIIs were not eligible to make investment in unlisted/private companies under this scheme. The funds for such investment could be received by way of remittance from abroad through normal banking channels or by debit to NRI/FCNR Account of the non-residing investor. A general permission was also granted to NRIs/OCBs to purchase the shares on repatriation basis of Public Sector Enterprise (PSEs) disinvested by Central Government subject to 1% of the paid up capital of the PSE concerned. With effect from May 24, 1995 the permission was given to Euro issuing companies to retain the Euro issue proceeds as foreign currency deposits with the Bank’s and Public Financial Institutions in India, which could be converted into Indian rupee only as and when expenditure for the approved end uses were incurred. With effect from November 25, 1995 companies were permitted to remit funds into India in anticipation of the use of funds for approved end uses. Moreover the existing ceiling for the use of issue proceeds for general corporate restructuring including working capital requirements were raised from 15% to 25% of the GDR issues. During 1996-97 FIIs were allowed to invest up to 100% of their funds in debt instruments of Indian companies effective January 15, 1997. With effect from March 8, 1997, FIIs were allowed to invest in Government of India dated securities upto 30%. Under the automatic route, the ceiling for lump sum payment of technical know how fee had been increased from Rs. 1 crore to US $ 2 million with effect from November 5, 1996. With effect from January 17, 1997, the government allowed under the Automatic Approval route inclusion in Annexure- III of the Statement of Industrial Policy 1991 the following: 32
  33. 33. Foreign Direct Investments in India a) 3 categories of industries/items relating to mining activities for foreign equity upto 50%. b) 13 additional categories of industries/items for foreign equity upto 51%. c) 9 categories of industries/items for foreign equity upto 74%. During 1997-98 FDI was allowed in 16 non-banking financial services through Foreign Investment Promotion Board. Expanding the scope of “automatic route” for foreign FDI, the Government of India approved 13 additional categories of industries/items under service sector for foreign equity participation upto 51% of the equity. There were 3 items relating to mining activity upto 50% foreign equity participation and 9 categories of industries/activities upto 74% foreign equity participation. As a part of the liberalised policy the RBI had decided to permit foreign banks to operating in India to remit their profits or surplus to their head offices without the approval of Reserve Bank. The Reserve Bank also allowed branches of foreign companies operating in India to remit profits to their head offices without the approval of Reserve Bank. Also the Authorized Dealers were permitted to provide forward cover to FIIs in respect of their fresh investment in equity in India as well as to cover the appreciation in the marked value of their existing investments in India w.e.f. June 12, 1998. The Authorised Dealers were given the option of extending the over fund-wise or FII-wise according to their operational feasibility. The same facility was extended to NRIs/OCBs for their portfolio investments w.e.f. June 16, 1998. FOREIGN INVESTMENT PROMOTION BOARD (FIPB) Introduction The government of India has set up a special Board known as the Foreign Investment Promotion Board. This specially empowered Board in the office of the Prime 33
  34. 34. Foreign Direct Investments in India Minister is the only agency dealing with matters relating to FDI as well as promoting investment into the country. It is chaired by Secretary Industry (Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion). Objective Its objective is to promote FDI into India by undertaking investment promotion activities in India and abroad by facilitating investment in the country through international companies, non-resident Indians and other foreign investors. Clearance of Proposals Early clearance of proposals submitted to it through purposeful negotiation and discussion with potential investors. Reviewing policy and put in place appropriate institutional arrangements and transparent rules and procedures and guidelines for investment promotion and approvals. The FIPB is expected to meet every week to ensure quick disposal of the cases pending before it. It endeavours to ensure that the Government's decisions on FDI proposals are communicated to the applicant within six weeks. Foreign Investment proposals received by the board's secretariat should be put up to the Board within 15 days of receipt and the Administrative Ministries must offer their comments either prior to and/or in the meeting of the FIPB. It would function as a transparent effective and investor friendly single window providing clearance for investment proposals. Composition The Board will comprise the core group of secretaries to Government and would have the following composition:- 34
  35. 35. Foreign Direct Investments in India i) Industry Secretary - Chairman, (Secretary Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion), Government of India. ii) Finance Secretary, Government of India. iii) Commerce Secretary, Government of India. iv) Secretary (Economic Relations), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. The Board may opt other Secretaries to the Government of India and top officials of financial institutions, banks and professional experts of Industry and Commerce, as and when necessary. Functions The main functions of the Board will be as follows: 1. To ensure expeditious clearance of the proposals for foreign investment; 2. To review periodically the implementation of the proposals cleared by the Board; 3. To review, on a continuous basis, the general and sectoral policy regimes relating to FDI and in consultation with the Administrative Ministries and other concerned agencies, evolve a set of transparent guidelines for facilitating foreign investment in various sectors; 4. To undertake investment promotion activities including establishment of contact with and inviting selected international companies to invest in India in the appropriate projects; 5. To interact with the Industry Association/Bodies and other concerned government and non-government agencies on relevant issues in order to facilitate increased inflow of FDI; 6. To identify sectors into which investment may be sought keeping in view the national priorities and also the specific regions of the world from which investment may be invited through special efforts; 35
  36. 36. Foreign Direct Investments in India 7. To interact with the Foreign Investment Promotion Council (FIPC) being constituted separately in the Ministry of Industry; and 8. To undertake all other activities for promoting and facilitating foreign direct investment, as considered necessary from time to time. The Board will submit its recommendations to the Government for suitable action. Approval by FIPB The recommendations of FIPB in respect of the project-proposals each involving a total investment of Rs.600 crores or less would be considered and approved by the Industry Minister. The recommendations in respect of the projects each with a total investment of above Rs 600 crores would be submitted to the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Investment (CCFI) for decision. The CCFI would also consider the proposals which may be referred to it or which have been rejected by the Industry Minister. The approval letters in all cases will be issued by the Secretariat of FIPB. The FIPB has accorded approval to the investments of a large number of corporations such as McDonalds, General Electric, Coca-Cola and Fujitsu in the recent past. It normally processes applications within 6 weeks. FOREIGN EXCHANGE REGULATION ACT (FERA) During the World War II September 1939, there was a shortage of foreign exchange resources. A system of exchange control was first time introduced through a series of rules under the Defence of India Act, 1939 on temporary basis. The foreign crisis persisted for a long time and finally it got enacted in the statue under the title "Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947." This was meant to last for 10 years. However, 10 years of economic development did not ease the foreign exchange 36
  37. 37. Foreign Direct Investments in India constraint, it only made things worse. Thus, FERA permanently entered the statue book in 1957. Hon’ble Finance Minister then Shri Chidambaram’s Budget Speech announced the setting up of a Reserve Bank of India committee to draft a Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA), following guidelines laid down by the Sodhani Committee (an RBI Committee) in 1993. Under the Hon’ble Prime Minister then Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government, the draft FEMA was approved by the Cabinet, and Hon’ble Finance Minister then Shri Yashwant Sinha introduced a Bill in the Lok Sabha on August 4, 1998. The mere fact that the number of sections has come down from 81 sections in the 1973 FEMA Act to 19 in the new FEMA is symptomatic of liberalisation. In 1991 Budget speech, Hon’ble Finance Minister then Shri Dr. Manmohan Singh remarked that India had accepted the Article VIII obligations of the IMF. But this did not mean that the changes would be implemented overnight. There were four different reasons why India was still short of complete current account convertibility of 1994, Hon’ble Finance Minister then Shri Dr. .Manmohan Singh announced that the rupee was going to be converted on the current account. In 1997, the Reserve Bank of India appointed a Committee known as Tara pore Committee to lay down road map for capital account convertibility. The Tara pore committee recommended a phased transition to capital account convertibility in three phases – 1997-98, 1998-99 and 1999-2000. This time frame was of course, implausible. Before complete capital account convertibility, certain macroeconomic conditions have been stated as prerequisites as per Article IV of IMF. However, the South East Asian crisis compelled Government of India to put off the idea of capital account convertibility. 37
  38. 38. Foreign Direct Investments in India The FERA, which was known as the law to "Control", has been replaced by FEMA the law to "Manage" foreign exchange transactions against 81 sections under FERA. Out of 49 sections, 9 sections are substantive in nature, the rest being procedural and administrative in nature. FERA is known as negative law whereas FEMA promises to be positive law. FOREIGN EXCHANGE MANAGEMENT ACT (FEMA) The Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA), as mentioned earlier, has been in force with effect from 1.6.2000, thus replacing the old FERA, 1973. There is a general misunderstanding among the NRIs that all restrictions and controls relating to foreign exchange transactions have been abolished and that foreign exchange dealings would be allowed to be freely made after the enactment of FEMA. This is not so. It is, of course, true that there is a great change in the outlook of FEMA in comparison with FERA but reasonable restrictions with regard to foreign exchange transactions with a view to facilitate them in a regulated manner find a place in FEMA, 1999 and connected rules and regulations. One of the special aspects of FEMA is that various notifications and provisions of the RBI Exchange Control Manual have been reframed in the form of separate regulations for different types of exchange transactions with a view to making them available easily to NRIs and other persons and also to provide transparency to the RBI rules and regulations. For example, the various types of accounts like NRI Account, FCNR account; NRO Account, etc. were regulated through Exchange Control Manual and Notifications in this regard. Now, the FEMA (Deposit) Regulations deal with the maintenance and operation of such accounts in a clear cut manner. Similar is the case with reference to other various aspects of foreign exchange. FEMA is a civil law, whereas the FERA was a criminal law. Under the FEMA no prosecution would be launched for contravention of operating provisions, likewise, arrest and imprisonment would not be resorted to except in the 38
  39. 39. Foreign Direct Investments in India solitary case where the person, alleged to have contravened the provisions of the FEMA, defiantly resolves not to pay the penalty imposed under Section 13 of the FEMA. In the same manner unrestrained enormous powers of Directorate of Enforcement have been slashed down to a considerable extent. Even the word "offence" is conspicuous by its absence in the substantive provisions of FEMA. There are 49 sections in all in FEMA. Of these, only seven sections, namely, Sections 3 to 9 deal with certain acts to be done or not to be done in connection with transactions involving foreign exchange, foreign security, etc. There are various sections from 16 to 35 relating only to adjudication and appeal. Further, one of the most important and distinguishing features of FEMA is that there is a provision for compounding of penalty as contained in Section 15 of FEMA. This could not have been imagined earlier under FERA. Thus, NRIs and residents will have much easier time under FEMA. NRIs under Income Tax Act and persons resident outside India come under FEMA. The expression Non-resident Indian or an NRI is used both under the Income Tax Act and FEMA. However, there is a great difference between the meanings of both the expressions. Sometimes, a person may be NRI under the I.T. Act but he may not NRI under the FEMA or vice versa. This is because NRI, i.e., an Indian Resident outside India under FEMA is treated differently now than he used to be under FERA. COMPARISON OF INDIA OVER OTHER ASIAN COUNTRIES The Asian countries are attracting a great amount of FDI ever since the marketers and investors felt that the European Countries are saturated. These Asian countries not only offer expertise but also cheap labour. If we have a look on the Asian countries 39
  40. 40. Foreign Direct Investments in India which attract maximum FDI we can count countries like India, China, Japan, Vietnam and to a extent Singapore and Indonesia. But, if we have a closer look, we can find out that China and India attract the most FDI. These are the two most important and sought after countries as regards FDI by outside agencies. Let’s have a look why China is attracting FDI. CHINA’S FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT Foreign direct investment (FDI) in China has under- gone a rapid growth since 1992. In both 1992 and 1993, actual investment more than doubled. In the peak year of 1993, contractual investment increased nine fold compared to 1991. Beginning in 1993, China emerged as the largest recipient of FDI among developing countries. Though this rising trend slowed down after 1995, the momentum resumed in 2000. China’s joining the WTO is providing a strong push to a new wave of foreign direct investment to China. Several factors can explain this important change in China’s economic landscape. First, Deng Xiaoping’s South Tour in the summer of 1992 established the direction of “socialist market economy” for China’s economic reform, which was officially confirmed at the14th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party of the same year. This helped offer foreign investors a better-reformed investment environment. Second, rapid expansion of foreign direct investment in 1992 took place at a quite low level. In 1991, actual investment was only US$ 4.366 billion. Third, the significant acceleration of economic growth since 1992, combined with the political stability re-established, strengthened foreign investor’s confidence of China’s investment environment and led them make a strategic change in investment decision making. Fourth, the foreign investment regime in China was significantly reformed. The early liberalization, which applied to the four special economic zones, was further extended to broad areas, especially, the developed Yangtze River Delta Area, and restrictions on FDI 40
  41. 41. Foreign Direct Investments in India were relaxed in some important areas (domestic sale, equity control, market access, etc.). There are two important aims underlying the change of the policy stance of the Chinese government. One is to “exchange technology with market”, and the other is to push the transformation of the inefficient big state- run industrial enterprises through the means of joint ventures. From the external perspective, broadly speaking, the recent rise of FDI in China is part of the international capital movement in the developing world, which results from the realignment in the location of production facilities and investment of multinational corporations (MNCs). Obviously, some of the factors, which lead to the dramatic increase of foreign direct investment in China, are only temporary; thus, the gains are static in nature. It is of interest to know the basic forces and mechanisms, which determine the long-run trends of foreign direct investment in China. Foreign direct investment in China began in 1979. Until 1991, the amount of both contractual and actual investment was small. Most of FDI came from small and medium-sized enterprises in Hong Kong and were highly concentrated in Guangdong province. Production of foreign-invested enterprises was overwhelmingly export- oriented and had little link with the domestic economy .The “take-off” of FDI took place in 1992. In the next 9 years, annual contractual investment increased from US$ 11.977 billion in 1991 to US$ 62.380 billion in 2000, and annual actual investment rose from US$ 4.366 billion in 1991 to US$ 40.715 billion in 2000. By 2000, the total amount of cumulative contractual and actual investment reached US$ 676.097 billion and US$ 348.349 billion respectively. The effects of foreign direct investment became prominent in some important aspects. The share in total exports contributed by foreign-invested enterprises increased from 16.75 percent in 1991 to 47.93 percent in 2000. The share of foreign- invested enterprises in the total industrial output values increased from 5.29 percent in 1991 to 22.51 per- cent in 2000. One consequence of rapid growth of FDI since 1992 has 41
  42. 42. Foreign Direct Investments in India been that it has become the most important source of foreign capital inflow into China. The share of actual FDI in total foreign capital inflows increased from less than one half in 1991 to 80 percent in 2000. The main factors which influence FDI into China are the technical expertise as well as hard working population. China is considered as the hub of FDI in the world. China being the second most populated country in the world enjoys a lot of benefits like rich technology, easy approachable markets, huge opportunities for expansion and the government policies which attract FDI a lot. As shown above the country has a very open policy for FDI. It has that every ingredient which a corporate requires from his investments. Hence we can see a lot of countries mainly the European countries making a beeline of investments in China. But India doesn’t remain behind in catching up the competition. There are many articles comparing India and China as to which country is the best country for investing. COMPARISON BETWEEN INDIA AND CHINA IN FDI It is practically an established fact that China’s track record in attracting foreign direct investment (FDI) is far superior to that of India. India has been considered as an “underachiever” in securing FDI. India fell eight spots to the 15th position in 2002 with 20 percent decline in attracting FDI, according to the FDI Confidence Index, by A T Kearney, one of the world’s biggest business strategy consultants. Communist China for the first time has overtaken the United States to be the best destination for overseas investments. China scored 1.99 in a scale from zero to three, while the United States ranked second with 1.89 and India scored 1.05 as per the results. The United States, Britain, Germany and France rounded out the top five, with Brazil falling to 13th place in 2002 from third in the previous year. 42
  43. 43. Foreign Direct Investments in India China has also remained the most preferred destination for FDI among the developing nations in the Asia and the Pacific. In terms of FDI performance index2 of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), China ranked 47 in the world way above India, which ranked at 119 (UNCTAD, 2002). In volume, FDI in China exceeds that in India many-fold. India lagged much behind China in 2001, grabbing only 7.25% of the FDI dollars that its neighbour received. With the annual FDI inflows of over $46 billions of China compared with a trivial amount of $3.4 billion into India in 2001, it is virtually a settled fact that India trails significantly behind China in attracting FDI in spite of its undying competitive efforts in the market for FDI inflows. This ratio is an indicator of the attractiveness of an economy to draw FDI. A country with a ratio of FDI to GDP that is greater than unity is reckoned to have received more FDI than that implied by the size of its economy. It indicates that the country may have a comparative advantage in production or better growth prospects reflecting larger market size for the foreign firm. On the other hand, a country that has the ratio value of less than one may be more protectionist and technologically backward, or may possess a political and social regime that is not conducive for investments. The yawning gap between China and India in attracting the non-debt creating FDI flows has indeed been a matter of significant policy concern for India, because in the process India is supposed to be losing a lot of markets and a lot of capital investment to China. India has certain strength which China will require another revolution of the short to attain. China will not be able to sustain economic growth if it insists on delaying political reform. China is using authoritarianism as its strength where as India’s strength lies with democracy. Although official FDI figures point to $47 billion investment to China in 2001 with India only $3 billion, but the race could be actually 43
  44. 44. Foreign Direct Investments in India closer. According to the international Finance Corporation the whole issue of FDI in China could be overestimated due to “round-tripping” where mainland funds leaving China return as foreign investment to gain tax and other incentives. The World Bank thinks that that as much as 50% of China’s FDI could actually be domestic cash cutting its 2001 total to about 2% of the GDP. India according to the IFC, underestimates FDI because of incomplete data and may have received up to $8 billion; 1.7 per cent of the GDP in 2001. (Far Eastern Economic Review, December 2002). Venture capitalism is leading the way investing serious money in India against much hyped China. So can India catch up with China? In terms of purchasing power parity, India is the fourth largest economy, after the US, China and Japan, in that order; it recently overtook Germany. By 2010, India is projected to overtake Japan. Many economic observers believe that in the next 20 years India's real GDP can potentially grow at 10 per cent if it pursues reforms vigorously. This should reduce the percentage of the population below the poverty line to less than 15 per cent. If India concentrates on producing a significantly accelerated growth in agriculture, information technology, and exports in these 20 years, it may get closer to China. Many Indian companies are setting up shops in China to take advantage of the growth. China and India have pursued radically different development strategies. India is not outperforming China overall, but it is doing better in certain key areas. That success may enable it to catch up with and perhaps even overtake China. Should that prove to be the case, it will not only demonstrate the importance of home-grown entrepreneurship to long-term economic development; but it will show the limits of the foreign direct investment (FDI) dependent approach China is pursuing. China’s exceptional growth is partly explained by its markets –based reforms that started in 1978, well before India’s similar reforms began in 1991. These reforms have enabled China to integrate with the global economy at phenomenal peace. 44
  45. 45. Foreign Direct Investments in India Today it is the largest recipient of foreign direct investment among developing countries, with the annual investment rising from almost zero in 1978 to about $ 52 billion in 2002. (Nearly 5% of GDP). Foreign direct investment in India has also increased significantly, though at much lower levels, growing from $129 million in 1991 to $ 4 billion in 2002 (Less than 1% of GDP). On the way to the new economy, China is gradually becoming the world manufacturing centre of IT equipment and products, while India has gained the leading position in software technology and has become the second largest software country in the world. Since mid-1990s, trading activities between the two countries greatly increased, economic cooperation, such as labour, technical cooperation and inter- investment had been widely developed. Both enjoy healthy rates of economic growth. But there are significant differences in their FDI performance. FDI flows to China grew from $3.5 billion in 1990 to $52.7 billion in 2002; if round-tripping is taken into account, China’s FDI inflows could fall to, say, $40 billion Those to India rose from $ 0.4 billion to $5.5 billion during the same time period. Even with these adjustments, China attracted seven times more FDI than India in 2002, 3.2% of its GDP compared with 1.1% for India. In UNCTAD’s FDI Performance Index, China ranked 54th and India 122nd in 1999-2001. FDI has also contributed to the rapid growth of China’s merchandise exports, at an annual rate of 155 between 1989 and 2001. In 1989 foreign affiliates accounted for less than 9% of total Chinese exports; by 2002 they provided half. In some high-tech industries in 2002 the share of foreign affiliates in total exports was as high as 91% in electronics circuits and 96% in mobile phones (WIPR-2002) About two-thirds of FDI flows to China in 2000-2001 went to manufacturing. In India, by contrast, FDI has been much less important in driving India’s export growth, except in information technology. FDI in Indian manufacturing has been and remains domestic market seeking. FDI accounted for only 3% of India’s exports in the early 1990s (WIPR, 2002). 45
  46. 46. Foreign Direct Investments in India Even today, FDI is estimated to account for less than 10% of India’s manufacturing exports. For China the lion’s share of FDI inflows in 2000-2001 went to a broad range of manufacturing industries. For India most went to services, electronics and electrical equipment and engineering and computer industries. The differential performance of India and China in attracting the FDI inflows has been the subject of attention at the international level (UNCTAD, 2003). Further, the difference in FDI inflows to India and China can be attributed partly to definitional and conceptual issues. For instance, a part of the difference in FDI inflow to India and China can be traced to data reporting. A sizable portion of the FDI in China is investment made by the Chinese from foreign location-the so called “round tripping”- and this takes place to a large extent due to special treatment extended by the Chinese authorities towards foreign investors’ vis-à-vis domestic investors. The round tripping is much smaller in India and takes place mainly through Mauritius for tax purposes. Estimates suggest that as 30 percent of the reported FDI in china may in fact be a result of round- tripping. Another major factor could be the earlier initiation of reform measures in China (1978) as compared to India (1991). Moreover, China’s manufacturing sector productivity is 1.6 times that of India and, in some sectors, as much as five ties (Mc Kinsey, 2001). Flexible labour laws, a better labour climate and entry and exit procedures for business, business-oriented and more FDI–friendly policies also make China an attractive destination. Investors underscore the predictability and stability of the tax system as an important factor in determining investment decision. Higher Import duties on raw materials in India result in higher prices of inputs, as most domestic players resort to import parity pricing. China has a flat 17 per cent VAT rate, while India’s indirect taxes range from 25 per cent to 30 per cent of the retail price for most manufactured product. The emergence of China as a member of world 46
  47. 47. Foreign Direct Investments in India Trade Organization (WTO) in 2001 is a stabilizing anchor and has led to substantial liberalization in the services sector (RBI 2004).It is also important to note that India and China focused on different strategies for industrial development. India encouraged FDI only in higher technology activities, whereas China favoured export- oriented FDI concentrated in manufacturing sector. China’s strategy is based on the premise that an increasing proportion of international trade is inter-firm trade between multinational, and in such an environment there is no alternative to attracting FDI for export. China’s FDI –driven merchandise exports grew at an annual rate of 15 percent between 1969 and 2001. In 1989, foreign affiliates accounted for less than nine percent of total Chinese exports; by 2002 these accounted for half of the exports and in high-tech industries the proportion was much higher (World Investment Report, 2003). In contrast, in India, given its product reservation policy for Small Scale Industries (SSIs), FDI is not permitted in SSI reserved products such as garments and toys, which has adverse implications for export growth. In India, exports by FDI companies grew at an average of around 9% during 1990-91 to 2001-02. A major factor in the growth of Chinese exports was the relocation of labour intensive activities by TNCs to China. However, in India this has happened mainly in the services sector. Almost all major U.S and European information technology firms have presence in India now. Foreign companies dominate India’s call centre industry, with a 60% share of the annual US$ 1.5 billion turnover. Despite large FDI flows, restrictions on the organizational forms of FDI entry are still prevalent in China. For instance, in 31 industries the establishment of wholly foreign – owned enterprises is not allowed and the Chinese partners must hold majority share holdings or a dominant position in another 32 sectors (OECD, 2002). A view has been expressed that China’s large absorption of FDI is not necessarily a sigh of the strength of its economy; instead, it may be a sigh of some, rather substantial. It is argued that FDI plays a major role in the Chinese economy due to systematic and 47
  48. 48. Foreign Direct Investments in India pervasive discrimination against efficient and entrepreneurial domestic firms. Furthermore, unlike India, a vibrant private sector is absent in China and most of the foreign investors must perform tie up with only state owned behemoths for joint ventures. Conclusion Thus we can see that both the countries function differently but attract the most foreign investment. But, inspite of all the problems associated with India, it can still stand on its own feet and show the world that they are better than the Chinese. WHY PEOPLE INVEST IN INDIA? India and the Indians have undergone a paradigm shift. There have been fundamental and irreversible changes in the economy, government policies, outlook of business and industry, and in the mindset of the Indians in general. The following factors have shown why people wish to invest in India: 1. From a shortage economy of food and foreign exchange, India has now become a surplus one. 2. From an agro based economy it has emerged as a service oriented one. From the low-growth of the past, the economy has become a high-growth one in the long-term. 3. After having been an aid recipient, India is now joining the aid givers club. 4. Although India was late and slow in modernization of industry in general in the past, it is now a front-runner in the emerging Knowledge based New Economy. 48
  49. 49. Foreign Direct Investments in India 5. The Government is continuing its reform and liberalization not out of compulsion but out of conviction. 6. Indian companies are no longer afraid of Multinational Companies. They have become globally competitive and some of them have started becoming MNC’s themselves. 7. Fatalism and contentment of the Indian mindset have given way to optimism and ambition. 8. Introvert and defensive approach have been replaced by outward-looking and confident attitude. 9. In place of denial and sacrifice, the Indian value system has started recognizing seeking of satisfaction and happiness 10. The Indian culture, which looked down upon wealth as a sin and believed in simple living and high thinking, has started recognizing prosperity and success as acceptable and necessary goals. 11. Graduates no longer queue up for safe government jobs. They prefer and enjoy the challenges and risks of becoming entrepreneurs and global players. Goldman Sachs Report of 1 October, 2003 "Dreaming with BRICs: The path to 2050" says the following about the future of Indian economy 1. India's GDP will reach $ 1 trillion by 2011, $ 2 trillion by 2020, $ 3 trillion by 2025, $ 6 trillion by 2032, $ 10 trillion by 2038, and $ 27 trillion by 2050, becoming the third largest economy after USA and China. 2. In terms of GDP, India will overtake Italy by the year 2016, France by 2019, UK by 2022, Germany by 2023, and Japan by 2032. Chinese GDP could overtake Germany by 2007, Japan by 2016, and the US by 2041. 3. Among the BRIC group India alone has the potential to show the highest growth (over 5 percent) over the next 50 years. The Chinese growth rate is likely to reduce to 5% by 2020, 4% by 2029, and 3% by 2046. 49
  50. 50. Foreign Direct Investments in India The fundamentals of the Indian economy have become strong and sustainable. The macro-economic indicators are at present the best in the history of independent India with high growth, foreign exchange reserves, and foreign investment and robust increase in exports and low inflation and interest rates. India is the second fastest growing economy of the world at present. The GDP growth in 2003-04 is estimated to be around 7%. The growth rate in the second quarter July-Sept.2003 reached 8.4%. India has recorded one of the highest growth rates in the 1990s. The target of the 10th Five Year Plan (2002-07) is 8%. While the agricultural and industrial sectors have continued to grow, the services sector has grown at a significantly higher pace, and is currently contributing to nearly half of the total GDP. India's services sector growth of 7.9% over the period 1990-2001 is the second highest in the world. A unique feature of the transition of the Indian economy has been high growth with stability. The Indian economy has proved its strength and resilience when there have been crises in other parts of the world including in Asia in recent years. The foreign exchange reserves have reached a record level of US$ 100 billion as on 22nd December 2003. India is the sixth largest foreign exchange holder in the world. This is remarkable considering the fact that the Forex reserves went under US$ one billion in 1991 before the economic reforms started. This comfortable situation has facilitated further relaxation of foreign exchange restrictions and a gradual move towards greater capital account convertibility. Given the large foreign exchange reserves, the Government has made premature repayment of US$ 3 billion of 'high- cost' loans to World Bank and Asian Development Bank and is considering further premature payment of other loans. The Government has decided to (i) discontinue receiving aid from other countries except the following five: Japan, UK, Germany, USA, EU, and the Russian Federation and (ii) to make pre-payment of all bilateral debt owed to all the countries except the five mentioned above. Since July this year, India has become a net creditor to IMF, after having been a borrower in the past. The Government has written off 50
  51. 51. Foreign Direct Investments in India debts of 30 million US dollars due from seven heavily indebted countries as part of the "India Development Initiative" announced in this year's budget speech. The external debt to GDP ratio has improved significantly from 38.7% in 1992 to 20% in 2003. This is one of the lowest among developing economies. External debt in September, 2003 was 112.5 billion US dollars. Of this long-term NRI deposits is $ 27 billion, commercial borrowings $ 24 billion, multilateral debt $ 31 billion, and bilateral debt $ 18 billion. Some more facts: 1. Foreign direct investments in the period April - March, 2004 - 05 stood at US$ 4.70 billion. 2. Foreign Direct Investment inflows more than doubled from US$ 434 million in April-May 2004 to US$ 922 million in April-May 2005. However, there was a net outflow of US$ 427 million of portfolio investments, which reduced the total foreign investments in April-May 2005 to US$ 495 million as against the inflows of US$ 993 million in April-May 2004. The non-resident deposits with the scheduled commercial banks went up by US$ 88 million in April 2005 as against the addition of US$ 79 million in April 2004. 3. On the inward FDI front, Mauritius still tops the list, followed by the US and the Netherlands. An encouraging note, during the last fiscal, was that the FDI flows from Germany and Japan rose sharply. FDI flows were directed mainly at the manufacturing sector, which received $924m, followed by computer services at $372m and business services ($363m). Foreign portfolio flows at $8.8bn were also buoyant during '04-05. 4. Sector-wise break-up of FDI is as follows: fuels -28.1%, telecom-16.7%, transportation-8.4%, electrical equipments-6.7%, services-6.7% and metallurgical industry-5.3% 51
  52. 52. Foreign Direct Investments in India 5. Major FDI destinations are Maharashtra-17.4%, Delhi-12%, Tamil Nadu- 8.6%, Karnataka-8.2%, Gujarat-6.5%, and Andhra Pradesh- 4.6%. 6. MNCs, which have invested in India include GE, Dupont, Eli Lily, Monsanto, Caterpillar, GM, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, Bell Labs, Daimler Chrysler, Intel, Texas Instruments, Cummins, Microsoft, IBM, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Samsung, LG, Novartis, Bayer, Nestle, Coca Cola and McDonalds. 7. FII investment during the period 2004 - 05 stood at US$ 9.4 billion. 8. Foreign institutional investors (FII) have pumped in $1.9 billion in July, the highest ever in any calendar year. The total net FII investment in CY05 is now more than $6.7 billion. 9. The current calendar saw a rise in the number of FIIs registered with SEBI. According to SEBI, whopping 145 new foreign institutional investors (FII) logged in to the country in CY05. The total number of registered FIIs as on August 2, 2005 was 739, much higher than 637 as on December 31, 2004. 10. Many Japanese and European funds have also started eyeing India with an aim to cash in on the rising equity markets. Registrations from non-traditional countries like Denmark, Italy, Belgium, Canada, Sweden and Ireland went up significantly in the fiscal 2004-05, according to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). 11. CALPERS (California Public Employees Retirement System), the world's biggest pension fund with a base of US$ 165 billion has recently decided to invest US$ 100 million in India thus adding India to their list of countries for investment. 12. US$ 8.5 billion of FII funds in calendar year 2004 went into equities. The cumulative FII inflow in equities in calendar 2005 (till 8 September 2005) has already reached US$ 7.93 billion as compared to the whole of calendar year 2004, where the inflow aggregated US$ 8.5 billion. 52
  53. 53. Foreign Direct Investments in India 13. FIIs have 50 percent stake in one third of the 30 companies which make up the BSE-30 Index and hold about 10 percent of the stakes in public sector undertakings. HOW TO INVEST INTO INDIA? Foreign direct investments in India are approved through two routes: I. Automatic approval by RBI: The Reserve Bank of India accords automatic approval within a period of two weeks (provided certain parameters are met) to all proposals involving: 1) Foreign equity up to 50% in 3 categories relating to mining activities (List 2). 2) Foreign equity up to 51% in 48 specified industries (List 3). 3) Foreign equity up to 74% in 9 categories (List 4). 4) Where List 4 includes items also listed in List 3, 74% participation shall apply. 5) The lists are comprehensive and cover most industries of interest to foreign companies. Investments in high-priority industries or for trading companies primarily engaged in exporting are given almost automatic approval by the RBI. II. The FIPB Route 53
  54. 54. Foreign Direct Investments in India Processing of non-automatic approval cases: FIPB stands for Foreign Investment Promotion Board which approves all other cases where the parameters of automatic approval are not met. Normal processing time is 4 to 6 weeks. Its approach is liberal for all sectors and all types of proposals, and rejections are few. It is not necessary for foreign investors to have a local partner, even when the foreign investor wishes to hold less than the entire equity of the company. The portion of the equity not proposed to be held by the foreign investor can be offered to the public. A foreign company planning to set up business operations in India has the following options: AS AN INCORPORATED ENTITY By incorporating a company under the Companies Act, 1956 through i. Joint Ventures; or ii. Wholly Owned Subsidiaries Foreign equity in such Indian companies can be up to 100% depending on the requirements of the investor, subject to any equity caps prescribed in respect of the area of activities under the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy. AS AN UNINCORPORATED ENTITY As a foreign Company through: i. Liaison Office/Representative Office ii. Project Office iii. Branch Office 54