US to remain ’absolutely committed’ to BIT with India

posted 26-June-2008

Economic Times | 26 Jun 2008

US to remain ’absolutely committed’ to BIT with India

WASHINGTON: Terming the Indo-US relationship as a major factor for the growth and success of the global economy, the Washington has said that it remains "absolutely committed" to a bilateral investment treaty with New Delhi.

"India-US relations are very important to the growth and success of the global economy," Under Secretary of Treasury in charge of International Affairs David McCormick has said.

McCormick, who was speaking at a luncheon meeting hosted by the US India Business Council for a CEO delegation from India under the aegis of the Confederation of Indian Industry led by K V Kamath, said:” there are so many dimensions of the relationship that are so important.. There is much to be optimistic about."

"The United States remains absolutely committed to a bilateral investment treaty with India and we appreciate the response of the Indian government," McCormick said.

The senior Bush administration official stressed the need for further financial sector liberalisation saying that opening up will make India better and bring benefit to Indian business and people.

Speaking before him the former USTR Ambassador Susan Esserman, currently with Steptoe and Johnson, pointed the rapid growth in not only trade between India and the US but also of the "unbelievable growth" in investment.

"Indian companies have made very significant investments.. supporting 30,000 jobs in the US," Esserman said going on to make the case for the start of formal negotiations between the two countries on a Bilateral Investment Treaty.

"It is the building block upon which freer trade grows," Esserman said making the point that the BIT not only ensures recourse, arbitration and basic protections but will also help to level the playing fields".

The former senior official said that India had a bilateral investment treaty with 61 countries and the United States with 45.

"There is no recession when it comes to US India commercial relationship," remarked USIBC President Ron Somers.

"The Bilateral Investment Treaty is the next hill to climb," the top USIBC official said, adding "There is a tremendous history. Let us keep it going."

The head of the CII delegation Kamath maintained that the growth story of India continues and there is no indication of any slowdown.

"What is happening in India is the transformational growth that have been seen elsewhere," Kamath said referring to parts of East and South East Asia but pointed out that if in the other countries the manufacturing sector was the prime driving force of the growth, in India it was the services sector.

Tracing the rapid growth in the bilateral economic relations, Kamath said that there is an opportunity today and that businesses of both India and the United States must seize upon this for mutual benefit.

"There is a whole range of opportunities in the private-private route," Kamath said referring to the opportunities in the rural landscape. "The government will be a facilitator on both sides," he added.

He maintained that with between eight and ten million people entering the workforce in India one of the biggest challenges is that of "skills" to manage the jobs and relatedly the need to revamp the educational process.

"To me that seems to be the major challenge," he said. The CEO delegation accompanying Kamath included Gopal Srinivasan, Chair and MD of TVS Capital Funds Ltd, Ranbaxy Laboratories Chair Harpal Singh, Financial Technologies CEO Jignesh Shah, Rajan Navani of Jetline Group and Hari Bhatia, Co Chair and MD of Jubilant Organosys Ltd.

The former senior official said that India had a bilateral investment treaty with 61 countries and the United States with 45.

"There is no recession when it comes to US India commercial relationship," remarked USIBC President Ron Somers.

"The Bilateral Investment Treaty is the next hill to climb," the top USIBC official said, adding "There is a tremendous history. Let us keep it going."

The head of the CII delegation Kamath maintained that the growth story of India continues and there is no indication of any slowdown.

"What is happening in India is the transformational growth that have been seen elsewhere," Kamath said referring to parts of East and South East Asia but pointed out that if in the other countries the manufacturing sector was the prime driving force of the growth, in India it was the services sector.

Tracing the rapid growth in the bilateral economic relations, Kamath said that there is an opportunity today and that businesses of both India and the United States must seize upon this for mutual benefit.

"There is a whole range of opportunities in the private-private route," Kamath said referring to the opportunities in the rural landscape. "The government will be a facilitator on both sides," he added.

He maintained that with between eight and ten million people entering the workforce in India one of the biggest challenges is that of "skills" to manage the jobs and relatedly the need to revamp the educational process.

"To me that seems to be the major challenge," he said. The CEO delegation accompanying Kamath included Gopal Srinivasan, Chair and MD of TVS Capital Funds Ltd, Ranbaxy Laboratories Chair Harpal Singh, Financial Technologies CEO Jignesh Shah, Rajan Navani of Jetline Group and Hari Bhatia, Co Chair and MD of Jubilant Organosys Ltd.

source : Economic Times

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