With Donald Trump set to become the next US President, India Inc on Wednesday sought greater access for the country’s pharmaceutical products in the US market and mobility of skilled labour.
Indian industry also tried to allay concerns related to the billionaire businessman, expressing confidence that apprehensions linked to him would “certainly prove wrong”, saying it looks forward to take the bilateral economic engagement to a greater level under the Trump administration.
“We hope that challenges relating to mobility of skilled labour, market access for pharmaceutical products from India, and financial services institutions and SMEs will be addressed,” CII President Naushad Forbes said.
“Our primary focus areas with the US have been standards, manufacturing competitiveness, defence collaboration and mobility of high skilled labour. We look forward to working with the Trump administration to further cement this critical partnership.”
In a stunning result, Trump beat seasoned politician Hillary Clinton in the knife-edge polls, defying the odds to become the 45th US President after starting off as a rank political outsider.
Seeking to “bind the wounds of division” after a bitter and divisive campaign, Trump pledged to be the President for all Americans and asked Republicans, Democrats and independents across the country to come together as one united people.
Skipping policy issues in his victory speech, the 70-year-old President-elect congratulated his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton with whom he had crossed words during the long, often ugly campaign, saying she fought very hard.
“We saw a different Trump who as President-elect of the United States of America sounded so conciliatory and sober promising a fair deal with the rest of the world,” Assocham President Sunil Kanoria said.
“His words appeared so convincing that the financial markets which were nervous in the beginning recovered quite a ground rightly hoping that the Republican inmate of the White House has a great plan for America up his sleeve.”
Engineering exporters’ body EEPC India Chairman T S Bhasin said: “Trump has stated clearly that his focus would be to spend huge funds on building the US infrastructure like highways, airports and the like. That would generate great demand for engineering exports in areas like steel, machinery and high technology domains.”
Bhasin added: “The Indian industry would certainly look forward to be a partner in that great endeavour of the next US President.” . ”I am certain that Trump will further strengthen the ties between India and US that have been on an upturn in the last decade reflecting convergence of interests on bilateral, economic, regional and global issues,” said Yes Bank MD and CEO Rana Kapoor.
“From an economic perspective, India enjoys a trade surplus of USD 20 billion with the US, with the latter being the 5th largest contributor to FDI inflows in our country. The symbiotic dependence between India-US is only bound to increase as India remains the fastest-growing economy in the world.”
He said leaders of both India and the US must galvanise fresh efforts on unfinished agenda such as the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) and explore newer avenues of trade and investment.
CMD of trading and investment firm Amrapali Aadya Capt Sanjeev Sinha termed Trump’s victory as “a rescuer” for the Indian pharmaceutical sector. “We are expecting some sign of relief for pharma after the victory of Trump,” he said.
IT cos ‘hope for best’ from Trump regime
The Indian IT industry on Wednesday leaned on US President-elect Donald Trump’s business credentials to hope he would not push through with his pre-election anti-outsourcing rhetoric, given the key role the sector plays in keeping American economy competitive.
The captains of the industry felt that Trump’s victory is unlikely to affect the fortunes of the USD 110 billion Indian technology sector as the US faces crunch of highly-skilled workers and for the fact that the Republican himself is a businessman and will be “pro-business”.
“We are optimistic that President-elect Trump’s administration will focus on making the strategic relationship with India a high priority, including providing a boost to US- India bilateral trade and investment,” Nasscom said.
Trump, who during his high-decibel campaign had advocated tightening of visa norms for skilled workers and bringing jobs back to America, today beat rival Hillary Clinton in the race to be the US President.
Many had feared that Trump’s coming to power could lead to job losses for Indians and a protectionist approach by the US, a market that accounts for about 70 per cent of Indian IT industry’s revenue.
However, Nasscom claimed that many of Trump’s observations during the campaign concerning high-skilled immigration and outsourcing were based on “fabrications put out by critics” of the sector. BPO industry stalwart Raman Roy said the sector is integral part of the economic growth story of the US.
“I have no hesitation in saying there will be no issues.He (Trump) cannot produce a million people overnight to do the job. He cannot say we will shut off the switch... there is commerce that is going to happen... card queries, insurance and mortgage queries that have to be answered that are being done from here (India),” Roy added.
Industry veteran and former HR head of Infosys TV Mohandas Pai feels that it is still early days.
He added that India’s prowess is well-established in technology and the country plays a crucial role for US enterprises.