Road transport and highways minister Kamal Nath is preparing to bring his 'roadshow' to Britain on 1 September to attract UK investment in India. According to Nath, India will build more roads than any other country over the next two years.
Nath will spend two days in London talking to business leaders, bankers and investors, explaining to them there is money to be made investing in India's roads in the current financial climate.
Last week Nath had held a similar roadshow in Zurich, called 'Building India: road infrastructure summit'. India plans to build 35,000km of national highways over the next three to four years - or 20km of roads a day. In 2009-10 alone, the plan is to lay down nearly 15,000km of roads.
However, the current rate of progress is painfully slow, at just three kilometres of roads per day.
Nath, a well known figure in the business community in Britain and elsewhere in the West, is also expected to tell investors that investing in Indians roads is a business worth around $70 billion, more than half of which will come from the private sector.
Traffic on Indian roads is growing at 7 to 10 per cent per year, rapidly overtaking economic growth, and the construction of new roads is part of a massive development agenda announced by the United Progressive Alliance government.
A key message that will be going out to the British investment and construction business community will be the profitability of the roads infrastructure sector in India, with road tolls becoming increasingly acceptable to the public.
Nath will be accompanied by a number of Indian business figures, including Hindustan Construction Company chairman and managing director Ajit Gulabchand, Feedback Ventures chairman Vinayak Chatterjee and JCB India managing director Vipin Sondhi.