India open for investment; US ready to move in: USIBC chief

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:13 pm IST

Published - March 18, 2015 08:39 am IST - Washington

India is open for investment and the U.S. companies are eager to move in, head of a bilateral trade organisation has said while praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi for embarking on a journey to change the business environment in the country.

“India is ready and open for investment and the U.S. is eager to move in,” said Mukesh Aghi, president of U.S. India Business Council (USIBC), the apex trade and business advocacy group for American businesses having a foothold in India.

Mr. Aghi, who took the reins of USIBC this month, said the American companies were particularly looking at the $1.5 trillion investment opportunities in the infrastructure sector.

The success of USIBC, which is celebrating its 40th year would be measured by increasing bilateral trade to $500, he said. “The challenge is there, but I look at it as an opportunity,” he said on Tuesday.

“The government of Prime Minister Modi has embarked on a journey. Expectations are high. When you try to turn a large ship, it takes time. When you try to change the environment, it does take some time. It is going to take probably longer time,” Mr. Aghi said.

Welcoming Mr. Aghi as the new head of USIBC, the Indian Embassy Charg’Affaires Taranjit Singh Sandhu said the relationship between India and the U.S. has never been as strong as they are today.

“The recent bilateral summits between Prime Minister Modi and President Obama has resolved some of the long pending issues that were holding progress in practical areas of cooperation,” he said.

A former chief executive and member of the Board of Directors at L&T InfoTec and president of IBM India, Mr. Aghi replaces Ron Somers, who resigned about a year ago and is now heading an India-centric consultancy firm.

The reception was attended by American corporate leaders, policy experts, diplomats and think tanks.

Formed in 1975 at the request of the U.S. and Indian governments, the U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC) is the premier business advocacy organisation advancing U.S.-India commercial ties.

Today, USIBC is the largest bilateral trade association in the U.S., with liaison presence in New York, Silicon Valley, and New Delhi, comprised of 325 of the top-tier U.S. and Indian companies.

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