Eyeing FDI, US to woo India Inc

Written by Sanjay Jog | Mumbai | Updated: Sep 7 2009, 09:52am hrs
While major economies across the globe are striving to keep themselves afloat, India has become the favourite hunting ground for getting investment from. In a first-ever major exercise to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) from India, the US department of commerce is sending Aaron Brickman, the director-in-charge of Invest in America, to Mumbai on September 10, to familiarise Indian investors with the US trends and policies with regard to FDI. Invest in America is the primary US government mechanism for the promotion of FDI.

So far, Tata Group, Essar, Hinduja Group, Financial Technologies, Silicon Interface, Reserve Bank of India, Union Bank of India, Yes Bank, Crawford kayley, Enam and Karvey are among those who have confirmed their participation for the proposed interaction with Brickman, to be organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry. Indian FDI into US has been growing rapidly with the total value of outbound investments from India being around $5.4 billion between 2007 and 2009. Indian FDI was primarily concentrated in the professional, scientific, and technical services sectors.

Ficci sources told FE, This trend is bound to gather more pace with greater awareness about suitable investment opportunities and a facilitating climate in the US.

During the same period, US FDI to India was over $15 billion and it was primarily concentrated in information, manufacturing, and banking sectors. Invest in America focuses on outreach to foreign governments and investors, support for state governments investment promotion efforts and address business climate concerns by serving ombudsman in Washington for the international investment community.

According to the data compiled by the US department of commerce, the recent greenfield investment by Indian companies include Reliance ADAs $161 million project in Illinois to create 252 jobs (May 2009), Veethree plans to invest $6.7 million in Florida creating 50 jobs (April 2009), Centrum Capitals $13.4 million investment plan in California to create 70 jobs (November 2008), HCL Groups $3.2 million project in North Carolina to create 500 jobs (August 2008), Bilcares $16.5 million project in California to create 70 jobs (August 2008), and Essar invested $1.6 billion in Minnesota to create 700 jobs (June 2008).

A Mumbai-based expert tracking the US, on condition of anonymity, said, The US is impressed by India achieving a GDP growth rate of 6.1% despite a meltdown. The US and India are natural business partners and the recent visit of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has come quite handy for Indian business and industry to decide its future plans. Besides, Indian business and industry sees a lot of opportunity when there are signs of revival of the US economy.