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ISG will look at India after Gulf expansion beds in

ISG has held talks with a number of local firms about breaking into the Indian construction market

The news comes a week after the firm announced it had formed a joint venture with Al Habtoor Leighton to team up and bid for fit-out work in Dubai and across the UAE.

Chief executive David Lawther told Construction News that the firm was likely to tackle India in tandem with Al Habtoor Leighton as well as local firms out there.

He said: “We have looked at India as a separate exercise. We have had a number of talks with local Indian companies.

“The big thing is how to bring the supply chain with you and we have to understand the local suppliers. We are keeping a watching brief at the moment.”

Leighton is Australia’s largest contractor - German company Hochtief has the majority shareholding in the group - and recently won a £360 million deal to build an oil and gas pipeline in India via its Thiess subsidiary.

Mr Lawther said the Indian economy was being driven by the emergence and spending power of the growing Indian middle class in cities such as Mumbai.

A number of UK firms have said they are trying to break into the market and last month ground engineering specialist Keller said it was specifically targeting India to reduce its reliance on the faltering US economy.

Keller already has a number of offices in India and has carried out some port work there but it is looking at expanding its operations.

And the country’s two biggest quoted contractors have both said they have looked at India.

Balfour Beatty said it has decided not to carry out work there but Carillion said its Middle East joint venture Al Futtaim had asked it to run the rule over working there.

India facts

Population 1 billion
Area 3.3 million sq km
Capital New Delhi (population 13 million)
Languages 17

India has the world’s second largest labour force – 516 million people. Its biggest industry is agriculture and related industries.

The country had a GDP growth rate of 9.4 per cent in 2006/07. Its GDP of US$4.726 trillion is the world’s third largest.

Source: Government of India