Saying that US has enormous stake in India’s emergence as a global power, President Barack Obama’s top adviser on international economic issues has voiced US businesses concern over the investment climate in India.
“US firms have increasingly grown concerned about the economic relationship, fearing that the investment atmosphere has deteriorated or that domestic political challenges are slowing the pace of reform,” Deputy National Security advisor Michael Froman said at the US-India Business Council Tuesday.
“While there has been significant improvement in the bilateral trade and economic relationship, there is much more that can be done,” he told the business forum comprising over 350 top US and Indian companies.
“As strategic partners, it is important that we be open and frank about how best to go about that,” Froman said ahead of Wednesday’s India-US strategic dialogue co-chaired by External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
President Barack Obama views India as one of his top foreign policy priorities and “is committed to forging a long term truly global partnership with India, recognizing India’s increasing role as a 21st century power,” he said.
“We have enormous stake in India’s emergence as a global power. India is of course world’s largest democracy and soon to be perhaps the most populous country.”
“Its economy is growing at a rate that envies the industrialised nations and has the potential to be a significant driver of global economic growth,” said Froman noting that in many ways the bilateral economic relationship was the driver of the political relationship.
However, the current mood of US businesses should be “worrisome” as the business community has been one of the strongest proponents of a strong US-India relationship, he said listing issues ranging from civil nuclear power deal, to taxes to implementation of the regulatory reforms.
“When we think of India as an emerging power, one of the key component on which India would build its influence is its economic strength and attractiveness,” Froman said asserting all these areas can be addressed if there is a “political will” to do so.