To improve ease-of-doing-business, India must address issues like protection of intellectual property rights and rationalise taxes and tariffs, a senior US diplomat said here today. MaryKay L Carlson, Charge D’Affaires at the US Embassy said as India seeks to promote domestic manufacturing, create jobs, and attract investment, it is important to recognise the crucial role that open trade plays in this process.
“For this reason, we must work with our counterparts in the Indian government to identify policies and practises that can further improve ease-of-doing-business in India and incentives trade. This includes addressing issues such as enhancing the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights, rationalising taxes and tariffs, and harmonising standards with international best practises,” she said at an annual general meeting of American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM) here. Welcoming reforms such as the Goods and Services Tax and the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Code, Carlson said it will reduce long-standing challenges to doing business in India, boost two-way trade and investment.
“Foreign investment has also risen to unprecedented levels, with total FDI flows between the US and India at USD 37 billion in 2016,” she said. Carlson noted that defence is a “promising area” of cooperation between the two countries and the strategic defence partnership is “stronger than ever”. In the past year, the US has classified India as a major defence partner, concluded a defence logistics agreement, and expanded defence and industrial ties through the Defence Technology and Trade Initiative.
“We have also increased cooperation on peacekeeping, disaster assistance, maritime security, and countering violent extremism,” she noted. With India being the ninth largest civil aviation market in the world, Carlson said the US sees great potential for more engagement in the development of this sector especially in areas including airport development and planning, and air safety and security.
She said with the Indian government’s target of expanding electricity access to all by 2022, engagement will continue to be a “high priority” in this sector. After the Indo-US nuclear deal, talks are on with two US companies to built 12 atomic reactors in the country.
Carlson noted that India students brought $31 billion to the US economy over the past decade as he emphasised on enhancing “people-to-people ties”. The US will also hold ‘2017 Select USA Investment Summit’, from 18-20 June in Washington DC, she said, welcoming Indian investors for the event.