US business, envoy discuss investment opportunities in India

Washington, Jan 30 (IANS) Investment opportunities in India were the focus of discussions between the new Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar and a group of 90 industry executives and businessmen from the US-India Business Council (USIBC).

The meeting here Wednesday was followed by a welcome reception of over 200 member companies of the trade group comprising 350 top-tier US and Indian companies advancing US-India commercial ties, US government officials, think tanks, and friends of India.
Jaishankar, according to a media release, engaged with USIBC on important topics that have dominated the bilateral commercial relationship in recent months – namely, tax treatment of investments in India and the protection of intellectual property (IP).
Industry captains also discussed the need for improvements to infrastructure and increased investment in defence and energy, it said.
The executives advocated for the lifting of FDI caps in important sectors like insurance and defence, and for adjustment of the retail policy to attract major investment and organized players into India.
The group raised the need to work together towards a step-by-step immigration reform bill in the US Congress that allows choice, promotes American competiveness, and enhances free market opportunity.
Commitments were restated by both sides to advance a unique trusted traveller programme known as Global Entry which will allow approved travellers to breeze across the globe, using a “quick pass kiosk” at airports to avoid long lines at Customs and Immigration, the release said.
Thanking the envoy, USIBC Chairman and MasterCard President & CEO Ajay Banga said: “The potential to reach $500 billion in two-way trade by 2020 is an achievable goal if we work together in partnership in an environment that provides predictability, consistency, and transparency.”
“Outstanding issues will be resolved through constructive dialogue, and USIBC looks forward to working with India to enable such dialogue,” he said.
USIBC President Ron Somers said: “Ambassador Jaishankar has shown that he values the US-India business relationship as pivotal to driving the overall partnership forward.”