India presents abundant opportunities for US investors: PM

New Delhi: India Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the partnership between the businesses of the two countries can bear enormous fruits, worth many billions of dollars over the next decade, and generate new employment opportunities across both societies.

“The transformation of India presents abundant commercial and investment opportunities for American businesses. The rollout of the Goods and Services Tax on July 1 will, in a single stroke, convert India into a unified, continent-sized market of 1.3 billion people,” Modi said in an Op-ed article published in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday, coinciding with his US visit.

“These plans also showcase the enormous fruits of our relationships with enterprising U.S. partners — worth many billions of dollars over the next decade alone — together with concomitant new employment opportunities across both societies,” he added.

The bilateral trade between the two countries totals about $115 billion a year.

“Indian companies are adding value to the manufacturing and services sectors in the US, with total investments of approximately $15 billion and a presence in more than 35 states, including in the Rust Belt. American companies have likewise fuelled their global growth by investing more than $20 billion in India,” Modi wrote.

Modi also emphasised India’s rapidly expanding aviation needs, and increasing demand for gas, nuclear, clean coal and renewable energy. “In coming years, Indian companies will import energy in excess of $40 billion from the US, and more than 200 American-made aircraft will join the private Indian aviation fleet.”

He said the combination of technology, innovation and skilled workers has helped forge an exciting digital and scientific partnership between the two countries.

“The creative and entrepreneurial energy of our engineers, scientists and researchers, and their free movement between both countries, continue to help India and the U.S. retain their innovation edge and maintain competitiveness in the knowledge economy,” he wrote.

Modi’s remarks come at a time when Indian techies are facing problems availing H1-B visas after President Donald Trump put restrictions on it.

The Prime Minister underlined that defence was another mutually beneficial sphere of the partnership.

“Both India and the U.S. have an overriding interest in securing our societies, and the world, from the forces of terrorism, radical ideologies and nontraditional security threats. India has four decades’ experience in fighting terrorism, and we share the U.S. administration’s determination to defeat this scourge.”

He said the two countries were “already working together to address the existing and emerging strategic and security challenges that affect both our nations-in Afghanistan, West Asia, the large maritime space of the Indo-Pacific, the new and unanticipated threats in cyberspace.”

Modi said a new layer “in our engagement is our partnership for global good”.

The Prime Minister said that “whenever India and the US work together, the world reaps the benefits — be it our collaborative efforts to find affordable vaccines for rotavirus or dengue, our joint studies of gravitational waves, observations of distant planets, establishing norms for cyberspace, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the Indo-Pacific region, or training peacekeepers in Africa.”

Modi is scheduled to meet Trump early morning on Tuesday, India time.

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