'India on Arcelor-Mittal's priority list'
LN Mittal believes Indian businessmen are entrepreneurial.india Updated: Jul 07, 2006 16:58 IST
Riding high on the historic takeover of Arcelor Steel, India-born global steel tycoon Lakshmi Niwas Mittal has said the new entity would now expand to India and China with "priority" to his home country.
In separate interviews to Indian television channels, Mittal said he was happy that the deal would set an example for Indian companies aiming at expanding to other nations.
Describing his 12 MT greenfield steel project in Jharkhand as significant, Mittal told a news channel "China and India will be the new focus for growth". India is 'his priority'.
The Amsterdam-base magnate said, "There has been a lot of emotional outbursts against against Mittal Steel. Arcelor wasn't expecting an unsolicited bid on the company. For them it was a surprise and they never looked upon it objectively. It became more of a subjective decision and emotions," he said.
On honouring Arcelor's relationship with Indian companies like Tata Steel, Mittal said, "We would assure them of our continued support and partnership. Both companies have been interested in expanding in China and India. We have announced a gainful project (in Jharkhand) and we will continue to work on this though the progress is slow."
Mittal said that he "was very happy as an Indian" and reasoned that capabilities of Indian businessmen should not be underestimated as they are very entrepreneurial.
"I am confident that the Indians will feel encouraged and confident going abroad and have alliance or a partnership with them (companies) or merging with them."
Praising Indian government for its foresightedness, he said, "Kamal Nath (Commerce and Industry Minister) came out with a statement on some of the remarks made by various governments in the beginning of this transaction because he could foresee that in future Indian businessmen would like to expand their business globally."