India will emerg as the largest portfolio for U.S. Export Import Bank soon and the bank is committed to supporting Indian companies to make the U.S. the gateway to do business with the world, said bank Chairman and President Fred Hochberg here on Friday.
In the last decade Indo-U.S. relations have emerged as the key driver to the stability of Southeast Asia. Giving strength to a positive diplomatic relationship is its business with bilateral trade between the two countries rising by 30 per cent in 2010 from the previous year to $36.50 billion. India is U.S.'s 12th largest trading partner, up from the 25th position in 2000. To give further boost to Indo-U.S. business ties, a priority mandated by U.S. President Barack Obama during his India visit last year, Mr. Hochberg wrapped up a successful round of business development mission in India with an interaction with the captains of Indian industry, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
During the weeklong trip, the chairman participated in strategic dialogue meeting between the two nations, held discussions with Indian businesses and banks about new infrastructure projects in refining, petrochemical, construction, transportation, and power projects.
Mr. Hochberg also announced $25 million in Ex-Im Bank loans for two new solar-energy projects included in the India's National Solar Mission.
On foreign direct investment, Mr. Hochberg said, “One of the best ways to increase FDI in any country is to increase export. When two countries do more trade with each other and get acclimatised to each others businesses and markets, FDI will naturally follow. FDI is not an alternative to export, but the two go hand in hand.”
The sectors that will see the greatest bilateral partnership are infrastructure and renewable energy and Mr. Hochberg, laid emphasis on his invitation to companies in these two sectors to approach Ex-Im Bank.
Highlighting the importance of Ex-Im Bank as the official export credit agency of the U.S. and its mission to assist in financing the export of U.S. goods and services to international markets, Banmali Agrawala, Past Chairman — CII (Western Region) and Executive Director, Strategy and Business Development, Tata Power Company, said, “In the last nine months, Ex-Im Bank has approved 173 transactions, involving 100 companies and $1.4 billion in financing of U.S. exports to India. Some of the sectors that Indian companies could benefit are power and infrastructure, aviation, construction equipment, farm equipment, solar energy, medical equipment to name a few.”