June 01, 2010
India did not avoid the global recession that hit most of the world in 2009. But it experienced just a 4% reduction in economic growth, as its economy had been chugging along in double digits.
Patricia Koval agrees that 2009 was a slower year for Torys' India practice, which focuses on Indian companies investing in Canada and Indian banks willing to finance them. But things have rebounded quickly: "Canada was among the first countries out of the recession, as was India," she says. "In fact, the Indian economy is back at full speed. We're seeing a resurgence of outward-bound interest to the point that the M&A levels we saw in 2007 and 2008 are basically back. It's not just the large corporate firms which are looking to Canada. There's a whole new impetus in terms of Indian companies who are looking to acquire and invest abroad for the first time."
The energy and infrastructure sectors are particularly active. For example, India has initiated a $500 billion infrastructure drive that includes building power generation facilities, ports, airports and warehouses, and $50 billion annually worth of roads.
"We keep a close eye on these areas for our Indian clients," says Pat. "In general, we're reaching out to a broader network in India than ever. We really didn't slow down at all in our visits and outreach to India. Our first and foremost emphasis remained our existing clients. Active or not, we were still visiting them regularly."