Asserting that India has demonstrated an “increased willingness” to address concerns of the industry while balancing its domestic interests, a top American trade advocacy group has told US President Barack Obama that foreign investors are buoyed by the vibrancy of India’s investment landscape.
Encouraged by the advancements made by the two governments, US India Business Council (USIBC) in its letter dated May 23, said it looked forward to continuing dialogue and progress on matters related to innovation, technology transfer, movement of professionals, and other non-tariff barriers in the upcoming commercial and strategic dialogues.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi has demonstrated an increased willingness to engage in dialogue to address the concerns of the industry while balancing India’s domestic interests,” Mukesh Aghi, president USIBC said in the letter.
“Relations between the US and India are at an all-time high, due to in no small measure to the work you have accomplished with Prime Minister Modi,” he said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to PTI yesterday.
With Modi’s upcoming visit to Washington DC in early June, the fourth visit in the last two years, USIBC believes that this is an opportune time to reflect upon the successes of the US-India strategic and commercial partnership and the avenues in which they can continue to secure the progress of the two nations.
“Despite deep legislative challenges, Modi has incrementally worked on micro-level reforms to boost investor confidence. These include accelerated infrastructure investment, greater openness to foreign direct investment in defense, civil aviation, railways, and insurance, passage of a bankruptcy code, and facilitating a transparent auction of key natural resources,” the USIBC letter said.
Observing that India is improving its tax regime, the letter noted that the two countries recently finalised bilateral advance pricing arrangements under which they have resolved more than 100 pending transfer pricing cases.
The tax reforms presented in the latest budget were unprecedented and lay the ground work to create an attractive environment for foreign investors.
“As you will agree, consensus-building is challenging in democracies and the above-mentioned reforms have been critical for foreign investors, who continue to be buoyed by the vibrancy of India’s investment landscape,” Aghi said.
“All of these reforms have resulted in improving India’s Ease of Doing Business index according to the World Bank,” he said.
India and the US are more aligned than ever before on matters of defense cooperation, homeland security, joint training, and cybersecurity, he added.
The recent introduction of “Advancing US -India Defense Cooperation Act” in the US Senate and its companion bill in the US House of Representatives, which was adopted into the ‘National Defense Authorisation Act,’ elevates India as an important partner that can uphold security in Asia and around the world.