Freshfields sees investment opportunities



A number of oil and gas, cement and steel assets are on the government’s radar for divestment, creating opportunities for international companies looking to invest in emerging markets, according to UK-based Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, a global consultant group.

The Indian government is expected to make announcements with further details of sectors and companies where divestments will occur, and, for now, this remains one of the key areas to watch, it said in its October 2019 report on India.

“The government intends to divest a number of state assets in order to invest more in India’s public services and infrastructure,” noted the global consultancy.

“We expect the following to be key areas for investment in India – infrastructure and technology,” said Freshfields.

High priority areas are likely to include roads (both highways and rural roads), railways, airports and ports.

The government wants to double the number of ports and functional airports in the next five years.

Renewable energy sources are also expected to be key target areas for investment, with solar energy being the primary driver, as efforts are made to reduce air pollution.

The Budget has already allocated spending on improving railways, waterways and roads along with proposals for public–private partnerships in the railways sector and contemplates the establishment of a national highway network.

On technology, Freshfields said “We anticipate a greater emphasis on digitisation and that the government will continue to encourage tech businesses.”

For instance, the Budget requires businesses with a specified minimum annual turnover to offer low-cost digital payment methods for their customers. It also proposes investment-linked income tax exemptions and indirect tax benefits for global companies that set up manufacturing plants for semiconductors, solar photovoltaic cells, lithium storage batteries, computer servers and laptops.


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