An influential business delegation from the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce is to explore the vast range of investment and trade opportunities emerging from privatisation in India. 'It will be the biggest and most senior delegation from Hong Kong to visit India,' said Consul-General Veena Sikri. On the top of its agenda for the spring visit will be a wealth of investment opportunities in prime infrastructure projects - from power, roads, airports and ports to bridges, telecommunications and tourism. Although India has received large sums in portfolio stock market investment from the SAR, Hong Kong is by no means a major industrial investor. According to the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, total local investment so far amounts to only US$348 million - or just 1.3 per cent of foreign projects. This tally is spread over more than 100 joint ventures, the most significant being in information technology (between India's National Institute of Information Technology and Kerry Holdings), hotels and telecommunications. But the SAR's investment share is poised to leap. 'Several major power projects are in the pipeline and are in the final stages of negotiations,' Mrs Sikri said. 'These would give a tremendous boost to the economic links between India and Hong Kong.' Most notable is China Light and Power's joint venture with the US group, Cogentrix, for power projects in Mangalore and Karnataka. 'We hope for a happy announcement in the next two or three months,' Mrs Sikri said. With the Indian Government's privatisation plan to reduce holdings in major state companies (employing 70 per cent of the workforce) to under 51 per cent, investment opportunities are emerging across the board. The number of industries in which foreign companies can take a majority stake was recently raised from 35 to 51. Included in the latest round of sell-offs are the national and overseas telephone companies, MTNL and VSNL. As a result of liberalisation, foreign investment continues to increase. India was the fifth largest recipient of foreign funds in 1996. The inflow of funds amounting to US$2.59 billion represented a 37 per cent increase over 1995.