US envoy pats India Inc for serving American interests
Indian companies are helping <g data-gr-id="32">American</g> economy to recover and grow with new investments and innovation which makes US very optimistic about bilateral ties with India, US Ambassador to India Richard Verma said on Tuesday.
“I am happy to report that Indian companies are helping to power America’s economic growth and recovery with new investments and innovation and that is why we are very optimistic about US-India relationship,” Verma said at the launch of a new survey of 2,000 buildings across India.
The survey, including parameters like security among others, was conducted by US-based solution provider company Honeywell and research firm IMRB International. Elaborating on US’s keenness on the bilateral relationship, Verma said, “I was in Washington last week and had meetings with Cabinet Secretariat, National Security Adviser and Secretary of State. They were really interested in what is happening here in India on <g data-gr-id="36">bilateral</g> relationship.”
Explaining about the progress on ties with India, he said that the US was working hard on <g data-gr-id="33">bilateral</g> investment <g data-gr-id="34">treaty,</g> and that the country has the first ever strategic and commercial dialogue with India. “We are facing challenges like regional security, climate change, ensuring all our populations benefit from inclusive growth...mass urbanisation challenges that India will confront in coming days,” he said.
Regarding urban development in India, he said, in coming years, India will be among the world leaders in growth of its cities at a pace not witnessed before and that is why Prime Minister’s initiative of smart cities is so important. Citing the survey, Verma said that people spend 80-90 <g data-gr-id="37">per cent</g> of their lives in buildings and want these to be more dynamic, productive and more sustainable environmentally.
Regarding safety concern of buildings, he said, “Fire safety is an issue. I understand (from the survey) that more than 50 <g data-gr-id="24">per cent</g> of hospitals and 60 <g data-gr-id="25">per cent</g> of high rise building lack adequate safety measures. People want their building to be safe”.
The US is working with India for developing three smart cities --Visakhapatnam, Ajmer and Allahabad. “Implementing smart building solutions can make facilities more connected and adaptive, reduce energy and operating costs, and improve the safety and quality of life for occupants and users,” President and CEO of Honeywell Automation and Control Solutions Alex <g data-gr-id="29">Ismali</g> said.
Private sector investments must for growth: FM Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today told Silicon Valley corporate leaders and investors that for growth to gain traction increase in private sector investments was imperative, even as he cautioned that ease of doing business would need constant monitoring and improvement. At a <g data-gr-id="92">round table</g> organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with US-India Business Council, Jaitley highlighted the improved economic and investment conditions in India. Some of the companies around the table included Microsoft, Applied Materials, Amazon, Oracle, Hewitt Packard, Visa, Franklin Templeton, Google, Cisco, First Solar, <g data-gr-id="68">Aemetis</g>, <g data-gr-id="69">Ebay</g>, Qualcomm, Blackberry, San Disk among others. Alluding to the much stronger economic fundamentals, Jaitley mentioned that the monsoon prediction is improving and with it the prospects of the agriculture sector doing better, which would put the economic growth prospects on an even better footing.
The manufacturing sector had started to do much better after a protracted period of slowdown, he said. Commenting on demand revival, Jaitley mentioned that micro attention was being paid to stalled projects and a pick up in that area would be helping demand for industrial products. A benign inflation situation could further allow softening of interest rates, he said. Touching on some of the challenges, Jaitley mentioned that the ease of doing business would need constant monitoring and improvement and eventually for growth to gain traction it was imperative that private sector investments picked up.