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India to overtake US as biggest importer of infra goods
October 8, 2013, 9:52 am


The Indian government recently fast-tracked approvals for a number of infrastructure projects worth $28 billion [AP]

A new HSBC report says India will overtake the United States as the world’s biggest importer of infrastructure goods by 2020 and will hold the top spot till 2030.

The demand for materials needed for infrastructure projects like metals, minerals, buildings and transport equipment is expected to increase as the Asian nation invests in building its civil infrastructure, says the report.

The Indian government has estimated that the country needs $1 trillion in funding to build roads, power plants, ports and airports by March 2017.

The government said in August it has fast-tracked approval for a number of infrastructure projects worth $28 billion.

A land acquisition bill, which is aimed at speeding up infrastructure and industrial projects by giving farmers better compensation for selling their land, was passed recently by the Indian Parliament.

Among India’s most ambitious Infrastructure programme is the $90 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor which is aiming to develop new industrial cities as “Smart Cities” spanning across six states in India.

The US currently tops the list of countries importing infrastructure goods, followed by India, Hong Kong, China and Germany.

Meanwhile, China is set to become the number one importer of investment machinery (equipment that is required by businesses to aid production) by 2030 as it continues to invest in manufacturing productivity.

“[A] rising middle-class across Asia’s rapidly emerging markets, especially India and China, will drive significant infrastructure demand in the region,” said Sandeep Uppal, HSBC India Managing Director and Head of Commercial Banking.

Uppal added that “aspirations of the new middle-class and rapid urbanisation will force India to upgrade its civil infrastructure, thus pushing up demand for overseas infrastructure related goods’’.

The report forecasts Asia to undergo the most rapid growth in merchandise trade in the decade to 2030 led by India, China and Vietnam at an average of more than 10 per cent a year.

Growing Asian economies will take an increasing share of infrastructure-related imports over this period, with Malaysia, Korea and Vietnam moving up the rankings, says the report.

Source: Agencies

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