Developing infra in India is US' top business priority

"Infrastructure is an important area and within that power generation, alternate energy... These all are areas where I believe the US companies can contribute," US Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Francisco Sanchez told reporters on the sidelines of a CII conference here.

He also said the US is looking for opportunity to increase bilateral trade and investment opportunities with India.

India has emerged as an attractive global investment destination, and infrastructure sector alone requires investment of USD 514 billion for the 11th Five Year Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12). Almost 30 per cent of this investment is envisaged to come from private sources.
For the 12th Five Year plan (2012-13 to 2016-17), the investment in infrastructure is envisaged at USD 1 trillion.

On a query related to protectionism, the visiting official said: "The US has the most open market in the world and it will continue to be that."

Last month Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had asked the G-20 nations, which also include the US, to resist protectionism as it would retard the process of recovery.

In September, Ohio had banned outsourcing of the state IT contracts to foreign companies. This was preceded by Washington's decision to hike visa fee for H-1B and L1 categories.

Sanchez further said a level playing field has to be maintained to make sure that everybody who has a product or service to offer can have the opportunity to compete fairly, which would benefit everyone.

"We believe that we have to strengthen partnership with India and to have vibrant open market that encourage trade, direct investment and brings the best product and services," Sanchez said.

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