Steve Forbes and former U.S. Senator Larry Pressler are attending a conference this weekend in NYC that addresses ‘infrastructure’ opportunities that exist in India, over the next five years and beyond.

According to the conference organizer, Aspire International Group, India is expected to be the world’s largest economy by 2050 — with GDP estimated at $86 trillion on a PPP basis by 2050, from $3.92 trillion in 2010. But for the country to actualize the envisaged growth it needs to bolster its infrastructure. Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh has announced investments of $1 trillion for infrastructure, in the country’s next five year plan commencing in 2013.

The country’s leaders are creating a public-private partnership to address India’s infrastructure needs, which are more than India’s banks can fund. Therefore, insurance and pension funds will be targeted with new ‘infrastructure’ financial instruments. Hopefully Indian officials will avoid the mistakes of their American counterparts, who created Build America Bonds that no one believes will ever be paid back — “legalized corruption” is how Sen. Pressler put it.

Messrs. Forbes & Pressler are joined in the photo by event organizers: Asha Puthi (second from right) and Pratap Vijay Padode, President & CEO Aspire (far left); Mr. Parmod Bajaj, Head of Chancery — Consulate General of India (center), and Falguni Padode (far right).

Photograph: Stephen Wise