Millennium Post

Ficci supports USIBC proposals to boost India US economic ties

Ficci President R V Kanoria has supported US India Business Council (USIBC) proposals that include a comprehensive economic pact between India and the US to reinvigorate trade ties, but said that India should not be seen merely as a huge potential market.
In the US, heading an Indian delegation of corporate leaders, Kanoria suggested that the proposed India-specific agreement should recognise the country's developmental needs.
'These are basically good ideas. I think a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement with the US is in India's benefit. We can get into the details of this agreement later, but it has to recognise the needs of both sides,' Kanoria said.
To majorly enhance business ties between the two nations, US India Business Council has proposed to the White House certain steps.
Besides the agreement, topping the list is a $50 billion sovereign debt fund, with collaboration between India and the US; a unique NASDAQ-like exchange in Bangalore and massive collaboration in energy sector including shale gas technology to help India address its energy challenges.
The brief contours of five-point, mid-term achievables were recently communicated to Mike Froman, Deputy assistant to President Barack Obama and Deputy National Security Adviser for International Economic Affairs, by Harold 'Terry' McGraw II - the outgoing Chairman of USIBC.
'I support these measures in principle and obviously when we get down to detailing there would be lot more issues, but fundamentally we are going towards that,' he said.
'They have to recognise India's developmental needs and I think, lot of the developed economies have to stop looking at India as merely as a huge potential market. They should also look at India?s policy need to be made in such a manner they allow India to grow,' Kanoria said.
Issues like climate change are all essential part of growth and development requirements and as long as India?s needs are understood, it will gain through this comprehensive economic agreement, he added.
Kanoria and his delegation are travelling to Washington DC, Baltimore in Maryland and the Silicon Valley in California to hold meetings with the top corporate American leaders and government officials.
'What I can definitely see is that the US would like to definitely engage India, particularly in innovations and technologies. From strategic point of view, India it seems for the US is today one of the most important partners,' he said.
People in the US are concentrating on India's capabilities - its ability to churn out technologies and its ability to leverage intellectual capital, Kanoria said.
However, he added that from investment point of view, there might be some concern about the reform process as India needs to get some of its major reforms back.
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