Obama Visit: Less to give, more to take?
New Delhi: As President Obama and accompanying American CEOs`` reached Mumbai Saturday, it is quite evident why he chose India``s financial capital as his first stop.
Unlike his predecessor George W Bush who offered India a historic civil nuclear deal in 2005, Obama is more likely to take than give to India.
The United States is still recovering from recession and its unemployment rate is hovering above the nine percent mark, which is adjacent to India``s growth rate.
A drubbing in the mid-term poll earlier this week, clearly reflects that Obama``s economic policies have failed to captivate the American imagination.
The US recognizes that India can play a big role in bailing the country out of
Recent Indian acquisitions have created and saved 65,000 jobs in the US. Indian companies invested 5.5 billion dollars in American Greenfield projects between 2004-09. In mergers and acquisition of companies in the US, Indian companies
have invested 20 billion dollars in the last five years.
India has emerged as the second-fastest growing investor in the United States, after the United Arab Emirates, said FICCI and Ernst and Young in a joint report.
However, almost 60 percent of investments made by Indian firms in US is in pharmaceuticals and the IT sector.
A recession-hit US would certainly like to enlarge the basket by relaxing the export of high technology and dramatically jack up Indian investments, especially in defence and space technologies.
President Obama has centered his India visit on business and job creation and had even indicated that Washington is considering a lifting of ban on dual use high technology.
The export ban has remained, despite the passage of the Indo-US nuclear deal in March 2008, mainly because of India``s refusal to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
New Delhi believes that dual-use sanctions had no place in the burgeoning partnership and views it as anachronistic.
Overall, total exports of advanced technology products exported from the U.S. to India have increased from 1.3 billion dollars in 2003 to over four billion dollars in 2009, despite the global economic slowdown.
The US administration expects business deals worth over 10 billion dollars across several sectors to be signed during Obama``s visit.
India also need US support in getting a entry in key non-proliferation-related groups like the Nuclear Suppliers Group, the
Missile Technology Control Regime, the Australia Group (dealing with chemical and biological weapons) and the Waassenaar Group (export controls for conventional arms).
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