Wooing US investors at the 40th anniversary celebrations of the US India Business Council (USIBC) in Washington D.C. on September 21, India’s External Affairs Minister Mrs Sushma Swaraj sought investments from the US in both public and private sectors in the country for a ‘win-win’ outcome. Stating that US business houses are best placed to make their decisions, Ms Swaraj stated, “But it would help if I underline here the scale of India’s economic ambition and the size of economic opportunity that it represents for both our countries.”
Raising the pitch, Ms Swaraj spoke about India’s focus on building smart cities, cleaning the Ganga river, skill development for 300 million (which is almost the entire US population) youth by 2022. “Diplomacy in India’s present government is business. The government’s priority from day one has been to make it easy to do business in India and with India,” Ms Swaraj said. She stressed on the government’s plans to boost urbanisation, affordable power and housing for all.
“We want to connect manufacturing in India with global supply chains and target to develop product and service based industrial and governance platforms around Digital India,” she said. This would present commercial and business opportunity for US industries. The current bilateral trade between the two countries is USD 100 billion. Both the countries aim to increase it to USD 500 billion over the next few years.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Barack Obama had set an ambitious target to scale up bilateral trade between the two countries to USD 500 billion during the latter’s visit to India in January 2015. Emphasising on the win-win outcome for US investors in both public and private sector, Ms Swaraj said, “In doing so and as is your key goal, you would of course create wealth for your organisation.” Equally importantly, the US companies would add value to the society, build long-term links with India’s economic growth story and strengthen economic underpinnings of the India-US strategic partnership, she said.
The two countries strengthened their strategic relationship by coming out with a Joint Strategic Vision for Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean region during President Obama’s visit to India in January. India and US upgraded the dialogue from merely India-US strategic dialogue to India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue. The decision to upgrade the partnership shows the intent of the two countries to scale up bilateral trade.
Speaking about the ability of the business houses of both the countries in making the right choices Ms Swaraj emphasised on carrying forward these choices through ‘Sanjha Prayas Sabka Vikas’, that is, Prosperity for all through Shared Effort.
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