The U.S. President, Barack Obama, and the American entrepreneurs are “extremely bullish on the business prospects in India,” according to U.S. Ambassador to Singapore David I. Adelman.

Tracing his unusual initiative for a U.S. business mission from Singapore to three Indian cities in March and for a scene-setting conference here on Thursday (February 10), Mr. Adelman told The Hindu on Tuesday that “American business does not see some of the challenges facing India as necessarily barriers to successful commercial relations.” India, he said, “has experienced impressive growth and has tremendous potential for economic power.”

Asked whether the zooming spotlight on corruption and other economic troubles in India at this time would not be a serious concern for the U.S., Mr. Adelman said: “You can take a snapshot at any point in time at any country and you can choose to focus on the challenges or the opportunities. And, this [mission in March] is about the opportunities.”

It was indeed a matter of “the U.S. business community in Singapore taking the lead, saying we want to go to India, we want to go to Vietnam, we want to go to Indonesia and we want the U.S. Embassy's help in Singapore. And, we are coordinating with the U.S. Embassy in India.”

On the political impulse for this mission, he said “the catalyst, the spark, was probably President Obama's visit to India in November [last year].” About the signs of a new groundswell of interest in India among the U.S. businesses in Singapore and Hong Kong, his perception was that their focus was “intense.” At the same time, “there is going to be an honest conversation about the opportunities and challenges in India” during the February 10 conference here.

He said the impact of President Obama's recent India visit and issues of commercialisation of research in science and technology were among the other planned highlights. India's High Commissioner to Singapore, T. C. A. Raghavan, was “an equal partner in this endeavour.”

Asked if the Indian space and civil nuclear energy sectors would be of prime interest to American enterprises in Singapore, Mr. Adelman said the intention was to have “a broad business mission” which would be infused by the “long-term goal” of U.S.-India “relationship-building.” As of now, the March mission would travel to New Delhi and Mumbai. Another destination, “maybe, Chennai,” was still being considered, he said.

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