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Chidambaram now woos America Inc to revive Indian economy

July 11, 2013 10:29 IST

Chidambaram now woos America Inc to revive Indian economy

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Aziz Haniffa in Washington, DC

Finance Minister P Chidambaram, back in the United States for the second time in less than three months, kicked off a series of meetings with American corporate heavyweights, making a pitch for American investment in India, even as the rupee continued to plummet.

Chidambaram on Wednesday met top American executives and management officials of companies with substantial investments in India, imploring them to invest more even as he explained the current business and investment environment in India.

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Image: Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Photographs: Adnan Abidi/Reuters

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Among the top CEOs and others business leaders he met with included representatives of Microsoft, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and International Lease Finance Corporation with the discussions centered on transfer pricing, the Comprehensive Immigration Bill recently passed by the US Senate on future business prospects of Indian Information Technology companies operating in the US and taxation issues.

According to the Indian embassy, “The companies were appreciative of the measures taken to address concerns relating to Transfer Pricing.”

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Image: Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Photographs: Issei Kato/Reuters

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It said, “The Finance Minister apprised the companies of the recommendations of the Arvind Mayaram Committee on enhancing FDI caps in many sectors, and the steps being taken to implement the recommendations.”

Chidambaram, according to an embassy statement had also “emphasised the need for US companies to set up local manufacturing bases in India, saying “it is in the mutual interest of both countries for India to become a large manufacturing economy.”

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Image: Employees work inside Maruti Suzuki's petrol engine plant on the outskirts of New Delhi.
Photographs: Vijay Mathur/Reuters

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As he had done the last time he was in Washington, the embassy acknowledged that Chidambaram has “underscored Indian concerns about the provisions in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill relating to skilled non-immigrant visas.”

Besides meeting with the corporate heavyweights, the Finance Minister also met with Chairman of the US Ex-Im Bank, Fred Hochberg and other senior officials of the Ex-Im Bank.

Chidambaram also met with Senator Max Baucus, Montana Democrat and Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and ‘exchanged views on the global economic situation,’ the embassy statement said.

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Image: People rally for comprehensive immigration reform April 10 near the US Capitol in Washington.
Photographs: Larry Downing/Reuters

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It acknowledged that the Finance Minister while mentioning concerns that have been expressed about the current business environment in India, had emphasised in all of his meetings, “the policies adopted by the Government of India are pro-growth and WTO (World Trade Organisation) compliant.”

The embassy said Chidambaram had “stressed that the government of India is committed to ensuring a transparent, fair and non-discriminatory investment environment for foreign investors seeking to do business in India.”

During his discussion with Baucus, the retiring US Senator had ‘fondly recalled his first visit to India as a young student in the 1960s and his meeting with then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.’


Image: Finance Minister P Chidambaram.
Photographs: Edgard Garrido/Reuters

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