India is maintaining its position as the fastest growing major economy in the world. The Manufacturing PMI in October stood at 54.4, continuing its increasing trend since January this year when it was 51.1. A similar trend has been observed in the Business Confidence Index, which rose to 57.2 in the second quarter from 54.1 in the first quarter of 2016. According to a recent Grant Thornton International Business Survey Report, India ranks second in the Global Business Optimism Index.

These positive numbers are a consequence of several favorable policy measures being implemented and the new goods & services tax approved by the legislators earlier in the year. The tax will unify and simplify the tax structure across the country and will positively influence the country’s ranking in "ease of doing business."

In the second week of November, India successfully signed the civil-nuclear deal with Japan. The deal will help India in overcoming its energy-deficit condition through the use of nuclear energy. Japan is a major player in the nuclear energy market and this deal will make it easier for U.S.-based companies like Westinghouse and GE to set up nuclear power plants in India as both have Japanese investments. India is in an advanced stage of negotiation with Toshiba-owned Westinghouse to build six nuclear reactors in the southern part of the country.

The auto sector in India remains buoyant and growing steadily across the different segments. The passenger vehicle segment is presently growing at 7 percent. The latest announcement is from South Korea’s KIA motors, which is planning to enter the market in the first quarter of 2017. Huge investments in infrastructure are backing the robust growth of 12 percent in the commercial vehicle segment. The good monsoon season has also pushed the volumes in the tractor industry presently growing at 15 percent.

Manufacturing in the electronics sector is exponentially growing with foreign direct investment. FDI in the sector reached an all-time high of US$19 billion. Several Chinese mobile phone companies like Huawei, LeEco, Zopo Mobile, Meizu, and Xiaomi have either invested directly or have tied up with local partners to manufacture their range of products for India, as well as for exports.

Pune-based Bharat Forge, the world’s largest forging company and traditionally an auto component manufacturer of crankshafts, chassis and powertrain parts and ring rolling applications, has further diversified into railways, turbines, oil & gas, and the aerospace and defense segments.

GE has established a multimodal manufacturing facility in Pune to serve its aviation, transportation, oil & gas and power generation business segments. The facility is spread over 67 acres of land and employs the best of CNC machines together with modern manufacturing processes, including 3D printing, automation and the industrial internet, etc.

Likewise, there are several other Indian and multinational companies establishing/expanding their manufacturing facilities in the country. On a bimonthly basis, AMT's Chennai Tech Center shares a new projects and investment bulletin with participating member companies and helps members connect with people associated with these projects.

In January 2017, CTC is conducting a trade mission covering two of the most industrialized Indian cities – Pune and Bangalore. The participants will get the opportunity to visit 10-12 manufacturing companies in a five-day period. The trade mission will be followed by the IMTEX Metal Cutting show in Bangalore, where AMT, along with 13 of its member companies, is participating in the  AMT-USA pavilion.

For further information, kindly email me at arunmahajan@AMTindia.org.