Investment opportunities for foreign nationals in India

The business sector in India is growing and expanding both in size and in terms of the level of investment. There has been a steady growth in the number of start-ups and SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises). In the last five years, India’s GDP has grown at an average of 8.5 percent.
According to the World Survey, India was ranked as the fourth best place in the world for entrepreneurs to start a new venture. Also, according to the International Monetary Fund; India is set to become the third largest economy in the world by 2030.
The government of India is looking at creating a strong entrepreneurial culture and vibrant economy by easing the regulations for expats, NRIs or foreign nationals to start businesses in India. Investment in India is not an easy task. There are many clearances and permissions to be obtained from various boards. The time taken to incorporate business in India depends upon the nature of the business and a myriad of factors. Roughly it takes about 3 to 5 months for expats to setup a business in India.
Foreigners and expats can invest their capital in many different ways. We’ll take a look at three of the most popular ways foreign investment can happen in the Indian market.
• ADRs: ADRs (American Depositary Receipts) are the traditional way of investing in foreign companies. ADRs represent individual stocks and are traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), American Stock Exchange (AMEX) or the Nasdaq. There are three different types if ADRs.
• Exchange trade funds and mutual funds:Foreign Institutional Investors (FII), have had access to the Indian market for 10 years or more. There are several ETFs and mutual funds available, which cover a number of different sectors within the Indian economy.
• Qualified foreign investor:QFI status allows you to invest directly in Indian companies via the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE). You can also invest in Indian based mutual funds and corporate bonds.
There is no doubt that India offers exciting investment opportunities. But there are certain pitfalls. India is a developing country and therefore requires a huge amount of investment in infrastructure, before it can truly compete on the world stage. If this investment fails to take place, long term growth could be stagnated.
Apart from the above methods, foreign nationals can set up investment in India as a public limited company, project office, liaison office, branch office and joint venture. The routes for foreign investment are not limited.

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