India’s liberalisation across numerous sectors of its economy sends a clear message to the global investment community that the country is open for business and reforms are also on-track, a top US advocacy group has said. Mukesh Aghi, president of US-India Business Council (USIBC) – a top American advocacy group representing US business interests in India – said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had demonstrated that he could make “bold” and transformative decisions. “In the last 3 years, the Prime Minister has demonstrated that he is able to make bold, transformative decisions that will transform how India is perceived on the global platform,” Aghi said yesterday.
“Liberalisation across numerous sectors of the economy sends a message to the global investment community that India is open for business and reforms are on track. Implementation of reforms such as the GST and the bankruptcy code are tremendous legislative and political wins. Demonetisation was also necessary to act upon corruption and black money,” Aghi said in response to a question.
The head of USIBC, that represents more than 300 American businesses including major Fortune 500 doing business in India, said that India’s macroeconomic numbers were noteworthy with inflation down (levelled at about 2.61 percent in March), Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) going up (around USD 149 under Modi until December 2016) at a time when global FDIs have fallen.
The Sensex has been on an upward trajectory as well (BSE market cap at USD 2 trillion), he said, adding that in all these are good signs for the economy. “Where I think the Prime Minister will be focusing his attention on next is job growth – that is one area that needs a shot in the arm,” he said.
“Make in India will need a boost as well as does private investment. Industry looks forward to further clarity and consistency in policy framework and that India continue on its path towards liberalisation,” Aghi said. Responding to a question on India US relationship, he said the strategic and commercial imperatives for closer US- India ties remained stronger than ever before.
“We are likely to see a continuation of strong bipartisan support for the bilateral relationship with India. “The private sector is very interested in advancing commercial ties, and there are tremendous opportunities for the two countries to work together on digitisation, financial inclusion and other types of economic cooperation that will boost US exports and create jobs in both countries,” Aghi said.