Corporate India upbeat over Modi’s US visit

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September 22, 2014

Modi begins five-day visit to US, beginning September 26, where he will address UN General Assembly in New York and hold bilateral talks with Obama

September 22, 2014

Modi begins five-day visit to US, beginning September 26, where he will address UN General Assembly in New York and hold bilateral talks with Obama

New Delhi: India Inc is optimistic over Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the United States, with 77% eyeing tangible outcomes from talks between Modi and US President Barack Obama; they are also hoping for a boost to bilateral trade from the current level of $150 billion, according to a survey by industry body Assocham.

The survey covered 261 corporate heads and was conducted between the second and third weeks of September.

"With the US accounting for over 60% of India's software exports of $100 billion, merchandise export/import totaling about $62 billion, and with the two-way foreign direct investment and the portfolio, the India-US annual commercial engagement is well above $150 billion. With these cumulative figures, the US is India's largest economic partner holding a greater potential for further scale-up," the industry body said.

In addition, 67% of the respondents said they expected Obama-Modi personal chemistry to be a high point. "In fact, India Inc expects this very chemistry to then reflect on a whole range of issues which confront the India-US economic engagement, be it divergent views in WTO, issues on visas for IT professionals, non-tariff barriers from the Indian side or national treatment demand by the US on solar equipment in India or opening of the retail and financial sector," Secretary-General DS Rawat said.

He also said the way Modi has gone about building bridges with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggests a similar outcome in his relationship with Obama. Modi has already extracted a commitment to $55 billion in investments between China and Japan.

Asked if the PM’s interaction with business leaders in the US, and with other policy-influencing individuals, will register on India’s investment climate, an overwhelming 82% said cross-national perspectives had already changed for the better and Modi’s interaction could further improve the situation. The industry expects the government will deliver on promises in Japan, Rawat said.

Modi begins a five-day visit to the US, beginning September 26. He will address the UN General Assembly in New York and then travel to Washington, where he will hold bilateral talks with Obama


Courtesy: PTI