U.S. firms eye UP, Bihar

Mukesh Aghi  

Several American firms are looking to invest in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and Bihar in sectors, including healthcare and food processing, according to Mukesh Aghi, president, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

Meetings will be held soon in this regard between senior officials of the U.P. and Bihar Governments, the Indian government’s investment promotion and facilitation arm ‘Invest India’, the concerned U.S. companies and the USISPF. The USISPF is an industry body with its board comprising top executives from leading firmsincluding Mahindra Group, Marriott International, Adobe Systems and FedEx Corporation. The board also has representation from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, PepsiCo, Dell EMC, Boeing International, Lockheed Martin International, LyondellBassell (plastics, chemicals and refining) and Water Health International (drinking water) among others.

Mr. Aghi told The Hindu that talks are on with the U.P. Government where, on the basis of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) model, the U.S. companies will help set up (kidney) dialysis centres in government hospitals to provide world-class dialysis at local prices. “The returns will be from the volume. Higher volume will help recover the money spent (by the companies). It could be three years or five years. We are trying to educate the U.S. companies that they shouldn’t go for high price points, but instead focus on low price points,” he said.

Agriculture sector

In agriculture/food processing, the U.S. companies will bring in supply chain management to avoid wastage, as well as their expertise in packaging and water preservation, he said.

On the India-U.S. defence ties, Mr. Aghi said the aim was to replicate the “pharmaceutical model” — where Indian generic firms, with their affordable drugs and with a sizeable market share in the U.S., are helping in savings of billions of dollars to the U.S. Government. “We are looking into whether we can emulate that model on the defence side. India has the brain power and skills. If the same equipment can be made in India at much lower costs, it can bring savings to the U.S. defence budget. So, we are working with a lot of companies on the defence side to bring in more transfer of technology,” he said. There will be talks soon in this regard with Indian defence ministry officials, he said.

On the U.S. interest in India’s infrastructure sector, Mr. Aghi said U.S. pension funds are keen in this regard. “These funds see political stability in India and much higher return of investment in India than they get in the U.S. or in many other parts of the world,” he said.

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Printable version | Mar 5, 2021 11:55:34 AM |

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