There is “optimism and excitement” among American businesses about India and they are eager to tap the opportunities for FDI in the country in sectors like healthcare after the latest budget, Indiaâ€™s envoy to the US has said. Navtej Sarna, who is on a maiden trip to San Francisco and Los Angeles, addressed the Indian-American community in Los Angeles and applauded their dynamism and philanthropy. He also had a series of meetings with top business executives, think tanks and community leaders.
Top among them included meeting with the Walt Disney chairman, Andy Bird, and vice president Alan Braverman, meeting with Ciscoâ€™s John Chambers, a round table with the prestigious Bay Area Council and another one organised by US India Strategic and Partnership Forum.
Referring to his visit to Disney and his meeting with its chairman and vice president, Sarna said they are very excited about India and the work they do in the country â€“ from movies to their digital application and content creation. “There is tremendous sense of optimism and excitement (among American businesses),â€ Sarna said.
American businesses, he said, are uniformly positive about Indiaâ€™s reforms and excited about the new opportunities like the one in healthcare sector that has come up in the latest budget, Indiaâ€™s top diplomat to the United States has said.
â€œThey (American business leaders) are uniformly positive about Prime Minister’s reforms. They are very excited about the fact that we have opened up FDI in so many areas,â€ he said. The businesses are also very excited with the GST. They are looking at the healthcare with excitement.
â€œStart ups are particularly a very good area of cooperation,â€ the ambassador said referring to his meetings with the American businesses in the west coast.
â€œVirtually every sector of the economy is open to foreign direct investment,â€ Sarna said in his address to the Bay Area Council. India which has attracted USD60 billion in foreign direct investment is today the most favoured destination for FDI.
India with its USD1.5 trillion plan in infrastructure sector offers great opportunities for American companies, he said. In his address to the community leaders, Sarna said India is witnessing transformational changes.
â€œToday we are the fastest growing economy in the world. We are set to become a USD5 trillion economy in 2025. We will become the third largest consumer market in 2025,â€ he said. There is a huge burgeoning and rich middle class, whose purchasing power has increased hugely, Sarna said.
While in San Francisco, Sarna also visited Gadar Memorial — an iconic moment from India’s freedom struggle. Early this week, he also visited Bancroft, Doe and the South/Southeast Asia at Berkeley Library in University of California.
Well known as a Sikh scholar of eminence, Sarna during his visit viewed parts of the South Asians in North America Collection, which is housed in Bancroft, and other Library holdings on Sikhism.