US-India CEO Forum shows glimmers in June
Several promising signs emerged from the recent US-India CEOs’ Forum that concluded June 22. A recommendation from participants suggests creating a $10 billion debt fund focusing on infrastructure development in India.
At issue is what many U.S.-based CEOs said were strong impediments causing the gap in U.S.-India investment. A 25-30 percent gap exists in India’s need for $1 trillion in infrastructure investment . The U.S. called upon the Indian government to address these obstacles:high tariffs, access barriers to agricultural markets, and investment caps. CEOs from both nations met prior to talks with government officials making recommendations concerning four core topic areas including infrastructure needs along with initiatives for clean energy research, education and e-health/biotechnology.
U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk urged Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma to address additional impediments such as intellectual property rights and a somewhat non-transparent regulatory process.
Furthermore, discussed were ambitious ideas: collaboration through the National Solar Mission of India, initiating long-term research about diabetes, creating greater links between educational institutions and start cooperative research for the development of clean energy to include bio-fuels.
In related news India’s Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee announced the formation of a committee to act upon the ideas toward finding actions for implement long-term plans and initiatives based on the discussions held at the US-India CEOs’ Forum. Participants agreed they will continue working to meet the objectives set down in the Framework for Cooperation on Trade and Investment signed last March that calls “to enhance opportunities for bilateral trade and investment and, ultimately, to create jobs in the United States and India.” Mukherjee announced that Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Dr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia to head the newly formed panel.