Business is expected to cross the $100-billion mark soon: U.S. Consul-General

With economic ties between the U.S. and India at an all-time high, the trade between the two countries is expected to cross the $100-billion mark soon, U.S. Consul-General, Chennai, Jennifer McIntyre has said.

She was delivering the keynote address during a business seminar on ‘Doing Business with USA’, jointly hosted by the United States Commercial Services and the Karnataka chapter of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC), here on Tuesday.

Addressing the gathering, which mainly constituted of members of IACC and members of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE), Ms. McIntyre said that U.S. exports to India had quadrupled, while Indian exports to the U.S. had grown by 180 per cent in the last decade.

“However, despite this, India is only the 13th largest trading partner for the U.S. Given the sizes of our economies, we have enormous untapped potential before us. According to Ernst and Young, the U.S. remains the leading investor in India, both in terms of projects and jobs generated. Foreign direct investment (FDI) by U.S. firms accounted for 30 per cent of investment projects in India and created more than 3,55,000 jobs between 2007 and 2011,” she said.

Tracing the history of U.S. commercial ties with India, Ms. McIntyre said that trade was at the core of the U.S.–India partnership and it had been true in the past, in the present and would continue to be true in the future.

FDI

She said that according to the latest available economic indicators, India’s FDI in the U.S. was valued at $9.8 billion at the end of 2011, placing India as the 24th largest source of FDI in the U.S. By the end of 2010, Indian investment had created over 30,000 jobs in America.

“While the total stock of FDI from India in the U.S. is still relatively small, it grew at a compound annual growth rate of approximately 41 per cent during 2006 to 2011, making India the third fastest-growing source of FDI in the U.S.,” she said.

‘Many opportunities’

Ms. McIntyre said that there were a lot of opportunities for Indian firms wishing to invest in the U.S.

“While the top sectors for FDI from India have traditionally been software and IT services, financial services, and business services, Indian firms are highly competitive in a wide variety of sectors,” she said.

Referring to the impact the ‘Experience America’ programme, which was held in Mangalore in February, had, she said that the consulate had already inaugurated the first American Business Corner (ABC) in Mangalore at the Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The ABCs (11 across India) had been set up, through local partners, to provide information to people in tier-II cities who wanted to do business with the U.S. but were not sure where to start, she said.

Principal Commercial Officer, U.S. Consulate in Chennai, James Golsen, through a presentation, explained the advantages of buying from the U.S. and how trade ties with the U.S. could be beneficial to the Indian importer or exporter.

He said that the consulate would extend necessary help in facilitating trade ties with the U.S. and added that more Indian companies were investing in the U.S.

On visas

Consular Officer Rachel O’Hara elaborated on the various visas offered by the U.S. and the pre-requisites to apply for them.

Founding president of TiE, Hubli chapter, Santosh Huralikoppi requested the Consul-General to set up an ABC in Hubli.

Chairperson of IACC Karnataka chapter V. Srinivasan, vice-chairperson Rabindra Srikantan, and president of TiE, Hubli chapter, Naveen Jha were present.

Earlier in the education session, several academics took part, including principal of BVB College of Engineering and Technology Ashok Shettar and chairperson of Akkihal Foundation Ramachandra Akkihal.

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