Washington: At a time when unemployment is a major issue in the US due to its poor economic status, Indian companies through its massive investments in America have created 50,000 jobs in the country, a top US diplomat said.
"Our economic relationship is very much a two way street. Both of us are focused on attracting growth and investment to our shores. Indian owned Tata factory in Ohio puts thousands of Americans to work, part of the over 50,000 jobs Indian firms have created in the US. Opportunities for small, medium and large American businesses in India are staggering," US Deputy Secretary of State William Burns said yesterday.
Burns added that India is being projected as world's third largest economy by 2025. But 90 percent of India is still without broadband, 80 percent of India's infrastructure for 2030 hasn't yet been built, according to McKinsey, India plans to invest one trillion dollars on infrastructure in the next five years alone.
Burns praised the recent Indian decisions with regard to next phase of economic reforms.
"Of course, for our companies to provide the technology and expertise to help India prosper, India's government must create an environment that encourages growth," he said.
He added that India's recent easing of some restrictions on Foreign Direct Investment are promising. Indian multi-brand retail, aviation, power grid and broadcasting companies and markets will be more open to investment, technologies and best practises from all around the world. It will be easier to bring food to market.
He emphasised that greater economic openness is not a concession to the US. It is one of the most powerful tools India has to maintain and expand its growth.
Burn Observe that India has no more important partner than US. Total direct investment of US in India in 2000 was USD 2.4 billion which in 2010 get to USD 27 billion. During the same period Indian direct investment in America grew over USD 200 million to nearly USD 5 billion, which is more than a twenty fold increase. So we have never invested in each other's country to such extent.
"Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley get USD 60 million in two way businesses from his India visit. Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear visited India three times and bring about USD 7 billion private sector energy deal. Norfolk has a sister city alliance with Kochi in Kerala that has helped Virginia export nearly USD 300 million in goods to India each year," he said.
Burns last week in New Delhi, has urged his Indian counterparts to address non-tariff barriers, favouritism for local companies, restrictions on foreign investment and intellectual property protection because progress and predictability will only shore up India's economic foundations.
"We are aiming for a high quality agreement that expands on recent reforms to provide still greater openness to investment, strong rules to protect investors and guarantee transparency and effective means for resolving disputes should they arise", he said.
He added that consortium of Indian and American corporations and banks have created Infrastructure Debt Fund to finance India's massive investment in roads, grids, seaports, airports and all the necessary building blocks of a modern economy.
He said that Civil Nuclear Initiative still holds promise for the people of India and US.
"Without diminishing the real and frustrating challenges we have faced, both governments are now engaged in realising practical benefits of the civil nuclear agreement, especially reliable electricity for India's homes and businesses," he said.
Burns argued that our companies are making good headway in negotiations with their Indian counterpart to complete works agreements by the end of this year.
In June, Westinghouse and India's Nuclear Power Corporation took important steps that will lead to Westinghouse nuclear reactors in Gujarat. We hope General Electric can follow suit.
He said, "Indian government has clearly indicated that nuclear energy will remain important part of India's energy equation and we are equally committed to expanding cooperation in other areas, from wind and solar energy to natural gas and bio fuels".
First Published: Saturday, October 27, 2012, 09:50