India on Monday 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 $20 billion are 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 in Kuala Lumpur 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 per cent of the freight traffic and 85 per cent of passenger traffic. According to reports, road traffic is growing at the rate of 7-10 per cent while vehicle population is growing by 12 per cent. National highways account for 2 per cent of roads but carry 40 per cent of the total traffic.