HYDERABAD: India Inc hailed the joint address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the US President Barack Obama at the Indo-US Business Council on Monday.
According to industry experts, Obama’s $4 billion investment pledge in India announced during his 20-minute speech, will give a much-needed fillip to ailing sectors like infrastructure including railways, ports, roads and clean energy power plants.
“The top 20 items in our bilateral merchandise trade basket currently account for close to 90 per cent of the total,” said Ajay Shriram, President, CII adding that fresh investments could reverse the trend.
He hope the newly announced US-India Strategic and Commercial dialogue will convene soon to chart out the path for enhanced bilateral ties. The CII chief also welcomed Prime Minister Modi’s commitment to make the business environment in India easier and predictable. Similarly, the new cell proposed in the PMO to fast track US investments in India are expected to help step up the US’s engagement in the Indian economy, he said.
According to Adi Godrej, Chairman, Godrej Group, the level of mutual investment and trade will rise dramatically. “I don’t think it will be necessarily felt in year one, but five years from now, the effects of this visit will be extremely positive. The world is convinced that India is the country of the future,” he said.
The US’ thrust on increasing trade ties with India seemed evident when the President reeled out statistics. “Only 1 per cent of American exports go to India, a nation of a billion-plus people. “We do trade worth $100 billion with India, but with China we do $560 billion,” he said.
It may be noted that US is the sixth largest investor in India and received FDI worth $13.28 billion between April, 2000 and November, 2014.