Invest in India: FM to US Inc

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee (right) with Commerce & Industries Minister Anand Sharma prior to the Indo-US CEOs Forum Meeting in New Delhi on Monday. PTI

Selling aggressively success story of “India brand” to visiting CEOs of the US multinationals Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said India offered “exciting” opportunities for global investors in areas ranging from infrastructure to financial services.

“India is fast emerging as attractive destination for investment. India’s strong democratic set up and rule-based regulatory and supervisory framework provides full protection to investment—both domestic and foreign,” he said addressing the Indo-US CEOs forum meeting.

Pointing out that US remains a prime source of investment and an important trading partner for India, Mukherjee said “economic policy, finance and trade constitute important planks of our bilateral relations. For us, the US remains a prime source of investment, technology and an important trading partner.”

Referring to massive scope for US investment in India’s infrastructure sector, Mukherjee said infrastructure sector alone requires investment of US$514 billion for the 11th Plan (2007-08 to 2011-12). Almost 30 per cent of this investment is envisaged to come from private sources. For 12th Five Year plan (2012-13 to 2016-17), the investment in infrastructure is envisaged at One trillion dollars, he said, adding, this magnitude of investment would require innovative modes of financing.

“As we make efforts to increase investment in infrastructure, and give a fresh impetus to the manufacturing sector, the importance of our partnership with the US will increase,” Mukherjee told US CEOs.

Mutual engagement

This mutually beneficial engagement would stimulate innovation, spur job creation, and promote sustainable and inclusive growth in both countries, he said. The finance minster also said the bilateral investment treaty that is being negotiated with the US will improve flow of investment from there.

“We are currently negotiating a bilateral investment treaty (with the US) and are committed to take further initiatives that will contribute to creating a more conducive environment for investment flows,” Mukherjee said.

The closed-door meeting was attended by US Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack from US side and Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma, Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia from Indian side among others. 

Besides, the meeting was also attended by the CEOs of different US and Indian Companies, part of Indo-US CEOs Forum. Among those present were Deepak Parekh of HDFC, Indira Nooyi of Pepsi and Mukesh Ambani of Reliance Industries.
Innovative methods

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman addressing the Indo-US CEO Forum focused on scope for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in wide rage of infrastructure sector. Later talking to newspersons he said the Indo-US CEOs visualized huge potential for investment in infrastructure sector. “We discussed the possibility of innovative methods of financing infrastructure projects,” he said.

Addressing the Indo US CEO Forum Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said, “US has cutting edge technology in many of the sectors which India will see tremendous growth in the coming years.”

Addressing the Indo U S Economic Cooperation jointly organised by the CII and the US India Business Council (USIBC) Mukherjee pointed out some of the critical areas in which US can partner with India in achieving financial inclusion.

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