U.S. and Indian firms bullish on India

Thursday, 26 June 2008, 12:58 Hrs
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New York: The economic downturn has not dimmed the enthusiasm for U.S. investment in India, or for Indian investment in the US, it emerged from a meeting the new president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) K.V. Kamath had with the board of directors of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) here.

Kamath, chief executive of the ICICI Bank, stated that "the economic downturn offers both our establishments the opportunity to harmonise structures and regulations that will ensure that investing in one another's economies becomes easier and more robust as we look ahead to a promising and bright future".

CII is one of India's leading business associations comprising thousands of Indian companies.

Former USIBC chairman, Charles "Chip" Kaye, co-president of Warburg Pincus and the largest US private equity investor in India, said: "USIBC's role in the coming year must be to make investors aware of opportunities for investment in India's soft and hard infrastructure. To that end, we are planning a 'Green India' Summit on October 15 in Washington DC, with CII to showcase the numerous opportunities for investment in India, matching these with America's best environmental technologies."

USIBC and CII discussed the ways to remove barriers and enhance investment in both economies, a press release said Tuesday.

Frank Wisner, former US ambassador in India, said: "As we sort through the financial turmoil that has affected the world markets, and as both our countries prepare for national elections, we must engage in constructive work that will lay a foundation upon which we can build a durable relationship for decades to come."

Speaking about the recent Goldman Sachs report, titled "Ten Things for India to Achieve its 2050 Potential", Kaye focused on how US firms could be helpful in raising the educational achievement in India and increasing the quality and quantity of universities.

CII's leadership too seeks to encourage programmes in India to raise educational standards and to work towards policy changes that will enable leading foreign universities to set up base in India.

Kamath planned to visit some New York institutions to assess the state of the US economy and US investor interest in India.

He is also scheduled to visit Washington to take the pulse of the political climate in the country which is preparing for the presidential election in November.

The USIBC celebrated its 33rd anniversary with a "Global Partnership" Summit in Washington. Indra Nooyi, USIBC's new chairman, plans to launch a USIBC Executive Mission to India in late September.

The USIBC, formed in 1975 at the behest of the US and Indian governments, is the premier business advocacy organisation representing 260 of the largest US companies investing in India, joined by two dozen of India's largest global companies.
Source: IANS
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