Business leaders welcome Modi-Obama vision for economy

| January 27 , 2015 , 08:31 IST
Business20150127012135_l_400x263New Delhi, Jan 27: India Inc. Monday welcomed the outline for growth presented by both US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the US-India Business Summit here. Welcoming the shared vision of economic growth between India and the US, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) president Ajay Shriram said the future of both the Indian and US economies is inter-linked in the globalised world. According to Shriram, the real need of the hour in expanding the growth and economic ties is to diversify the bilateral trade. He cited that top 20 items in the bilateral merchandise trade basket constitute a majority 90 percent of the total trade, thus leaving enormous scope to expand the items two countries traded in. On the measures announced by President Obama such as the US EXIM Bank's (export import bank) programme to extend $1 billion in loans to help promote US companies export to India, Shriram said this will increase trade and business ties between the two sides. Other partnership measures announced by Obama, like lending to small and medium businesses through funding of more than $1 billion and the US Trade and Development Agency's plans to invest nearly $2 billion in renewable energy in India, were also appreciated as key initiatives for growing ties. Shriram hoped that the newly announced US-India strategic and commercial dialogue forum will convene soon to chart out the path for enhanced bilateral economic cooperation. He also welcomed Prime Minister Modi?s announcement for setting up a new cell in the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) to fast-track US investments in India. Other business leaders like Ajay Banga, chairman of USIBC (US-India Business Council) and president and CEO of MasterCard, said that Sunday night?s addresses by Obama and Modi underscore the economic growth - and the pivotal moment in the history of the world?s two largest democracies. "Hearing from both world leaders reinforced my belief that the greatest days of US-India relations lie ahead across all sectors and disciplines in business and trade,? Banga said. Both the countries are trying to increase trade and investment and have set target to take bilateral trade to $500 billion by 2020 from the current $100 billion mark. The bilateral trade reached $100 billion from $19 billion in 2000, and the two-way trade relationship supports nearly 300,000 jobs in the US and over 500,000 jobs in India. Earlier at the meet, Modi reiterated his development and policy agenda while stating that the state should be driven by policies which should be consistent so as to draw more investments. He also revealed that US investments in India jumped by 50 percent in the first six months of his government. "State should be policy-driven. That will help investment. Consistency is another very important aspect that will bring more investments in the country. These things will address many problems," he said. "We are on the right path. Economic growth has increased. The business confidence in India is among highest in major countries, the consumer confidence in India has turned positive after three years," he added. The India-US CEO Forum which was held here saw top business honchos from both the countries participate in deliberations over growing the trade business linkages between Indian and US. India Inc. was led by Tata Group chairman Cyrus Mistry. Source: IANS