Kuala Lumpur: India today invited Malaysian
companies to invest in India`s road projects but expressed
apprehensions whether small firms would be able to complete
successfully big infrastructure contracts.
India`s Road Transport and Highways Minister Kamal Nath
said the scale of opportunities is such that it is a win-win
situation. Contracts worth USD 20 billion is likely to be
awarded by June 2010, he added.
He said the Indian government wanted to build up economic
engagement. "We want construction sector to build this up."
"Economic engagement is important with East Asia and we
attach great importance to this."
Nath, who is here to hold talks with senior Malaysian
ministers, said that the lucrative Indian road network is the
second largest in the world.
Thirty-five Malaysian companies are already involved with
various infrastructure projects in India.
The National Highway Authority of India is developing
5,985 kms of highways. Work on the golden quadrilateral, which
connects four metros, has been completed almost. The total
length of roads in India is 3.4 million kms while the
total length of national highways is 70,548 kms.
India`s road network carries 70 percent of the freight
traffic and 85 percent of passenger traffic. According to
reports, road traffic is growing at the rate of 7-10 percent
while vehicle population is growing by 12 percent. National
highways account for 2 percent of roads but carry 40 percent
of the total traffic.