Washington: India and the US on Tuesday asked the corporates to play a greater role in accelerating the pace of growing economic ties between the two largest democracies in the world.
Addressing a luncheon meeting of Indo-US CEO Forum at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, secretary of state Hillary Clinton and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee emphasized the significant role for the corporate sector in taking the Indo-US relationship to an altogether new level as envisioned by US President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
“Our ultimate aim is to make India a vibrant economy that attracts global capital and trade....In fulfilling this objective all of you have a role to play,” Mukherjee said.
Clinton said Washington and New Delhi need to catch up with the businesses cooperation between the countries.
Underlining the importance of ties with the US, Mukherjee said as India pursued its developmental goals, it would like to work with the US, especially where its priorities converge to the mutual benefit.
“We have a unique advantage, which is the existence of strongest possible people-to-people linkages that any bilateral strategic partnership could wish for,” he added.
Referring to the recently released study reports, Clinton said the Indian investment in the US since 2004 grew by an estimated 60%, Indian acquisitions have supported approximately 40,000 jobs and manufacturing export to India led to about generation of 96,000 jobs in the US.
The study ‘How America Benefits from Economic Engagement with India´, released last week, comes on the heels of President Obama ending tax incentives to US companies that move jobs outside the country.
Clinton further noted that both President Obama and Prime Minister Singh had said numerous times over the past 16 months that Indo-US cooperation is the cornerstone of the 21st century global partnership.
The luncheon meeting was preceded by nearly a two-hour meeting of the Indo-US CEO Forum, co chaired by Tata Group chairman Ratan Tata and David Cote, chairman of fortune 500 company Honeywell.
Emerging from the meeting, Tata said the CEOs meeting went on fine.
On the sidelines of the CEOs Forum meeting, Clinton met Mukherjee at the State Department during which the two leaders discussed bilateral relationship.
Later, State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said Clinton and Mukherjee discussed a wide range of bilateral issues, including trade, investment and other economic issues.
The luncheon meeting was also attended by minister of industry and commerce Anand Sharma, deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia and Indian ambassador to the US Meera Shankar.
On the US front, commerce secretary Gary Locke, US trade representative Ron Kirk, economic advisor to the US President Larry Summers and deputy national security advisor for international economic affairs Michael Froman, among others joined.
The CEO Forum was reconstituted on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Sing’s visit to the US last year. It includes corporate leaders Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani; Bharti Enterprise chairman and CEO Sunil Mittal; SBI chairman OP Bhatt; Venu Srinivisan of the TVS Motors; S Gopalarishnan of Infosys; ICICI Bank MD & CEO of Chanda Kochhar.
The American CEOs included Citi Groups CEO Vikram Pandit and Indra Nooyi of Pepsico.