India is an interesting place for ArcelorMittal: Mittal
Describing India as one of the "most interesting places" for ArcelorMittal, its billionaire chief L N Mittal has said the steel behemoth will focus on developing economies, mainly India, for its new factory plans.business Updated: Apr 04, 2010 15:26 IST
Describing India as one of the "most interesting places" for ArcelorMittal, its billionaire chief L N Mittal has said the steel behemoth will focus on developing economies, mainly India, for its new factory plans.
"We do not plan to move our operations from Europe but clearly ArcelorMittal's ratio of businesses will move more towards developing economies.
"We will build new plants there and we will grow those businesses faster than those in Europe and North America. For us, the most interesting places to be will be India and Brazil," Mittal told British newspaper The Telegraph.
While expressing concern over the sluggish growth prospects for Europe, Mittal said that India and China have caught up very fast from the crisis.
In this backdrop, the steel tycoon noted that ArcelorMittal's response would be to direct all new factory plans at developing economies, particularly India and Brazil.
He said the company was hopeful of starting construction at one of the sites it has identified in India to set up steel plants.
"In India, we plan to build green field projects... We hope that soon we will be able to commence construction at one of the sites. We have identified sites but the approval and mining concessions processes are still under way," he said.
In February, Mittal had said the company is "anxious" to start work on its proposed new projects in India, which entail an estimated investment of Rs 1.30 lakh crore.
ArcelorMittal has planned to set up three steel projects in India, including one each in Jharkhand and Orissa, at a cost of Rs 50,000 crore each.
However, these projects have been facing regulatory hurdles and land acquisition problems, for the past four years. ArcelorMittal has also proposed a Rs 30,000-crore project in Karnataka for a 6 MTPA plant.
Also, peeved by inordinate delays in starting work on its integrated steel projects, ArcelorMittal marked its first operational presence in the country by entering into a joint venture with domestic steelmaker Uttam Galva.
Mittal told the British daily that India was poised to "emerge as one of the world's most important economies."
"India is emerging as a very important place... We have seen the role it is playing in the G20 group of the world's most advanced and emerging economies and in the WTO...
"I think India will have a very important role going forward. There's a lot of domestic potential to grow and it is much more liberal and open for foreign investors," he said.
"India needs a lot of industrialisation, a lot of growth and development. But, with its demographic of younger generation, I am very confident of India's future in the world space," he added.