Varanasi: India needs to go for new policies and economic reforms including opening of foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail to return to faster growth, US Ambassador to India Nancy J Powell said Thursday.
"For India to return to faster growth, new policies and economic reforms need to be put in place by the government in areas such as opening multi-brand retail up to foreign direct investment," Powell said at a Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) programme here.
Voices like that of IACC need to explain how economic reforms will be beneficial to expanding employment and improving the food chain infrastructure, she added.
Earlier on July 15, US President Barack Obama had said that India prohibited foreign investment in too many sectors such as retail and cited concerns over deteriorating investment climate there to endorse another "wave" of economic reforms.
Talking about the bilateral trade between the two nations, Powell said, "Last year, our goods exports topped USD 21 billion. Our total bilateral trade in goods and services is expected to reach USD 100 billion this year. India has leapt from our 25th largest trading partner to our 13th largest trading partner in just over a decade".
Powell added that increasing number of Indian businesses are interested in investing in the US.
"The US represents an opportunity and a source for future growth for Indian companies. The good news is that an increasing number of India's businesses are seeing the benefits of choosing the US for their next investment," she said.
Nearly 49 percent of the high-tech startups in Silicon Valley and Washington, DC are owned by Indians or Indian Americans, Powell said.
American companies have directly invested USD 30 billion in India over the years. Building on a base of USD 8.6 billion, Indian business investment in the US during India's 2011-12 financial year was less than USD 1 billion, she added.
"We want to empower more investors to explore our market via the Commerce Department?s Select USA initiative," she said.
First Published: Thursday, July 26, 2012, 23:31