Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday evening rolled out a red carpet welcome for US companies with promises of a predictable tax regime and open and welcome business environment, while US President Barack Obama pledged $4 billion in bank loans to increase trade with India and explore “untapped potential.”
Earlier on Monday, Mr Obama became the first US President to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, watching India showcase its culture and military prowess in a parade on Rajpath that included armaments purchased from Russia.
Mr Modi’s invitation, and President Obama’s attendance as chief guest, and the agreements reached over two days of summitry are seen by many as confirmation that India has begun to move away from its traditional non-aligned stance.
“We will guide you and walk with you in your projects. You will find a climate that encourages investment and rewards enterprise,” Mr Modi said at the India-US Business Summit, attended by nearly 500 business leaders from American and Indian industry. He underlined his government’s endeavour to make it easy to do business in India. “Our immediate target is to bring us from the rear ranks of the world into the top 50,” said Mr Modi.
During their interaction with top CEOs from both countries, Mr Modi promised that he himself would monitor big projects.
On the concerns of US business about Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) protection, the Prime Minister said his government will nurture innovation and “protect your intellectual property”.
He said business sentiments in India are the strongest among major Asian markets. Mr Modi said US companies will find a tax regime that is predictable and competitive.
Obama highlights IPR worries of US Pharma
PM Narendra Modi said his government would ensure that the uncertainties related to doing business in India would be removed soon.
“We have removed some of the excesses of the past. We will now soon address the remaining uncertainties,” said the Prime Minister.
US President Barack Obama in his address sought “consistency” and “simplicity” in the regulatory and tax environment in India and redressal of issues relating to intellectual property rights to increase bilateral trade.
He said US exporters are “very concerned” about issues like IPR as the US economy was increasingly becoming a knowledge-based economy. The US President said “absence of effective intellectual property protection” in India was affecting business.
“We tend to operate at the higher ends of the global value chain,” said Mr Obama. “There are still too many barriers, hoops to jump through, bureaucratic restrictions that make it hard to start a business, or to export, to import, to close a deal, deliver on a deal,” Mr Obama said.