Facebook's $5.7 billion investment in Reliance Jio amid the COVID-19 crisis is a reflection of the faith that foreign companies have in the Indian economy's potential and future growth, said a top US-based India-centric business advocacy group.
In an interview with PTI, US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) president Mukesh Aghi said the COVID-19 crisis has offered India the best opportunity to attract foreign investment and replace China as the world's manufacturing hub.
"I strongly feel that once the COVID-19 crisis ends, India will have the best opportunity to attract hundreds of these (foreign) companies into the country," Aghi said.
It will not only create jobs but also bring in investments and keep the Indian economy's momentum going.
"The partnership between Facebook and Jio is a win-win value proposition for not only for both companies but also for citizens and consumers in India. It also reflects the faith of foreign companies in the potential of India's economy and future growth," Aghi said.
He also asserted that while India has brought in reforms in its corporate tax structure but it must look at its labour laws and land reform as well in order to build confidence among foreign companies by assuring them of providing a "level playing field" as well as "transparency and stability" in policymaking.
Because of the bitter experience that the US companies are having in China during this pandemic, wherein they cannot move their goods because of the many restrictions imposed by Beijing on them, the sentiment among these companies is: "We have to look beyond China and very fast," he said.
Observing that tensions between China and the rest of the world are going to rise in future due to the COVID-19 crisis, Aghi referred to the $2 billion package announced by Japan for its companies to move their manufacturing base away from China.
"You will see more and more of that happening," he said.
With inputs from PTI