Foreign direct investment (FDI) into India has been continuously growing due to facilitative and congenial policies, according to commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal, who recently said FDI rose by 13 per cent to $40 billion during April-September this year. FDI grew even during the first nine months of the year at the peak of the pandemic, he said.

The minister was addressing the Confederation of Indian Industry’s Partnership Summit 2020.

Cent per cent FDI is allowed through automatic route in almost all sectors, he said.

For certain sectors such as telecom, media, pharmaceuticals and insurance, government approval is required for foreign investors.

There are nine sectors where FDI is prohibited and that are lottery business, gambling and betting, chit funds, Nidhi company, real estate business and manufacturing of cigars, cheroots, cigarillos and cigarettes using tobacco.

Under the government approval route, foreign investors have to take prior approval of the respective ministry or department. Through the automatic approval route, the investor just has to inform the RBI after the investment is made.

“India is a land of opportunities. I invite you to board the bus of development, growth and prosperity…We welcome you with open arms, a red carpet and assure you our complete assistance, partnership and involvement through your journey in this land of opportunities,” he added.

On the proposed free trade agreement between India and the European Union, Ville Tapio Skinnari, Finland’s minister for development cooperation and foreign trade, said both sides should set a time for a high-level dialogue to discuss differences about the pact as soon as possible.

“For the European Union, the most topical issue is investment protection. An agreement would greatly add to the predictability of the Indian business environment and contribute to economic growth,” he added.