Australia leery of investing in India?

Jailtey receives a lukewarm reception in Australia

Australia wary of investing in India?
Australia wary of investing in India?

A section of the media here has already been lamenting the tepid reception given to him, if he can inspire big Oz funds to invest in India while also doubting as the Australian visit of India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley enters its concluding phase.

Greg Sheridan considers Arun Jaitley as “…one among the two dozen or so most significant men and women in the world right now” in his endeavour to highlight the truth that the Australian business and investment community has overlooked a chance to engage a leader who is presiding over what’s undoubtedly the world’s fastest growing large economy.

“He is the second most significant figure in the government of India, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and India is the second largest country on earth, after China,” Greg Sheridan writes while mentioning Arun Jaitley in his column printed in The Australian Saturday.

It is, obviously, too early to say if the cash-rich Australian superannuation funds would invest in the infrastructure in India or not. But in the event the overall apathy to the visit of Arun Jaitley is used as a gauge, the Indian infrastructure project managers should look elsewhere. The reported apathy of both the business and political communities strengthens the age-old notion held by the diplomatic circles in India that the Australians are not really interested in India.

Amit Dasgupta, who’s the head of SP Jain School of Global Management in Mumbai, says that the “forward surge” has failed to materialize to date as the Australians have a built-in “traditional and risk-averse approach towards new markets”.

It was evident Jaitley encountered an overall dearth of interest when he addressed a string of meetings with top superannuation funds here such as Sovereign Fund, Australia Post Super Scheme, Construction and Building Sector Super, Emergency Services and State Super, and Energy Industries Superannuation Scheme.

He also met with Peter Costello, who was the treasurer in John Howard’s Liberal Government and is chairman of Future Fund, in as part of his busy schedule in Melbourne Friday.

There’s a chance that probably the most important supporter of GST in Australia could have expressed concern over the continuing political imbroglio in India.

Like the rest of the industrialized world, there certainly are several business managers down underneath who are loath as the South Asian nation has neglected to reform the tax system, to consider India.

What makes Jaitley’s mission to woo the Australian superannuation funds nearly impossible to accomplish is the truth that the socio-political developments in India are tracked carefully here in Australia.

The understanding that Modi government is fighting to press through various economic reforms is not ignorant to the strong fund managers who command close to 2 trillion Australian dollars. Jaitley, however, has expressed optimism about Australian funds investing in India.

“Our infrastructure needs have become large; so are our investment needs. Pension funds are a significant investment supplier. They also are searching for stable and high yields.”

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