‘Barack Obama visit signal to Indian, US bussiness to tap opportunities’

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New Delhi | Published: January 25, 2015 6:00:59 PM

US President Barack Obama's India visit, marked by "high-end symbolism", is a signal to businessmen...

US President Barack Obama’s India visit, marked by “high-end symbolism”, is a signal to businessmen of both countries to look for opportunities from each other, Mahindra Group Chairman and Managing Director Anand Mahindra has said.

Likening the summit of President Obama and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a Bollywood script of meeting of two “long lost brothers in a mela”, Mahindra said it is also an acknowledgement by the US that it is time for India to emerge at the world stage.

“This visit is about a very, very high-end kind of symbolism and I am very comfortable with that and I am not looking at specific outcome,” Mahindra told PTI.

He said even though the Indo-US CEO forum has been reconstituted and will be meeting again, there must not certainly be too much expectations in terms of very tangible, specific outcome on business matter.

“I don’t think you can expect any business related (matters) to be announced here. Even on the Bilateral Investment Treaty, I am not sure whether there is going to be substantial progress on that. There are impediments and (they) need to be taken forward.

“Negotiating a treaty is a very, very detailed matter, very detailed clauses have to be looked at, multiple interests are involved. So it would be wrong to create unnecessary pressure on an outcome,” Mahindra said.

Stating that all “hype is more than justified” in terms of symbolism of the visit and what lies in it in terms of the future of the Indo-US relationship, he said: “If the two leaders of our countries show a natural alliance, then it is a signal to businessmen on both sides to look for opportunities with each other.”

Mahindra further said: “Let us also not forget that America is the biggest source of investible capital in the world today.

“If India has any chance of meeting its growth target, specially for infrastructure, and for defence, renewable energy and nuclear power, then the combination of American capital and technology is going to be completely essential for this growth.”

Underlining the convergence in the thinking of the two leaders, Mahindra said: “President Obama believes this is the right time for India to emerge at the world stage and become a much stronger partner in helping to resolve some of world’s deep problems.”

India must be on the table when it comes to discussing crises in the world and their solutions. Whether they are crises of conflict, whether they are crises of climate change, whether they are crises of trade, he added.

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