India received $51 billion (approximately Rs 38.79 crore) in overseas investments last year and was the ninth largest recipient of foreign direct investments in 2019, a United Nation’s trade body’s report has said.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development said in a report on Monday that there would a lower, but positive, economic growth in the country in the post-coronavirus period. It added that the Indian markets will continue to drive in investments.

The report noted that the country earned $42 billion in 2018 and ranked 12th among the top 20 economies in the world. India was among the five top nations for FDI in the Asia region.

The report noted that global foreign investment flows are predicted to plunge by up to 40% in 2020, “from their 2019 value of $1.54 trillion”.

“This would bring FDI below $1 trillion for the first time since 2005,” another report said. “In addition, FDI is projected to decrease by a further 5% to 10% in 2021 and to initiate a recovery in 2022.”

UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi described the outlook as uncertain. “Prospects depend on the duration of the health crisis and on the effectiveness of policies mitigating the pandemic’s economic effects,” the he added.

Meanwhile, foreign investments into developing Asian economies, hit by the economic slump brought on by the coronavirus, are projected to decline by up to 45% in 2020.

Indian economic growth

A growing list of agencies have downgraded India’s growth forecasts for the current financial year. On June 8, the World Bank said that the Indian economy will contract by 3.2% in the financial year of 2020-’21 because of the lockdown to control the coronavirus pandemic.

In May, credit rating agency Moody’s Investors Service said it estimated India’s Gross Domestic Product growth to “hit zero” in the 2020-’21 financial year due to the lockdown to combat the coronavirus pandemic. In the same month, American credit rating agency Fitch Ratings forecast that the Indian economy will contract by 5% during 2020-’21.

In April, the International Monetary Fund had cut its growth projection for India to 1.9% from the earlier estimated 5.8% for the financial year 2020-’21.

India’s economic growth rate stood at 3.1% for the fourth quarter of 2019-’20, according to data the government released last month. In the October to December 2019 quarter, the country’s economic growth stood at 4.7% – a seven-year low. However, the final figures released for the third quarter showed that India’s GDP grew at 4.1% during October to December last year.