India to Open Nine US$1 Billion Road Projects for Bidding

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Mar. 23 – India is opening nine road projects worth more than US$1 billion each for bidding in the coming months in an effort to improve its underdeveloped infrastructure sector.

India is one of the major emerging economies in the region with various untapped business opportunities for foreign investors. The upcoming road projects are expected to garner interest from companies in Europe, the United States and East Asia.

“There’s huge interest in India’s road building,” India’s Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath Nath told Bloomberg TV during an interview. “India continues to be an attractive investment destination, and within that roads is a good asset” for pension funds, insurance funds and other financial institutions.

The ministry has set a goal to build 20 kilometers of highways daily up until 2015. Roads remain the primary means of transport in India handling the majority of all passenger traffic and freight cargo. In the next three years, US$70 billion worth of funding will be needed to overhaul its roads with investment coming from the government and private investors.

The country holds the unfortunate distinction of having the highest number of road accidents in the region, a consequence of its obsolete infrastructure and huge population.

ib-magThe investment mechanisms for taking part in Indian public-private partnerships between government finance and foreign investors is explained in the August 2009 issue of India Briefing Magazine, “Investing In India’s Public-Private Partnerships.”