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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 December 2007, 17:39 GMT
Foreign investors lured to India
Car factory in India
Foreign investors see India as a low-risk, high-reward market
The level of foreign investment in India has continued to soar, rising 65% in the first half of the financial year according to the government.

Commerce Minister Kamal Nath said $7.2bn (3.5bn) was committed to Indian projects in the six months to November.

"Inflows continue with great momentum," Mr Nath said, adding that he expected the economy to grow by 9% this year.

Driven by its booming services sector, India is the world's second largest investment destination after China.

Attractions

European and US firms have flocked to India in recent years, attracted by its huge domestic market and well-educated and productive workforce.

The telecoms and property sectors have seen the most substantial foreign interest.

Despite this growing profile, India attracts five times less investment than China.

Several key industries, including retail, remain heavily regulated with limits on foreign involvement and ownership.

Buoyant foreign investment levels have boosted stock markets and contributed to consistently strong economic growth in recent years.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said on Tuesday that India should seek to meet its 9% growth target this year despite the likelihood of a slowing global economy.

"India should have the ambition and the courage to sustain the current acceleration of growth no matter what happens globally," he said.



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