Ficci prepares its own wish list for Obama

January 20th, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 20 (IANS) With Barack Obama taking over as the US President Tuesday, a leading industry lobby has identified five areas that it hopes the new leadership will address to deepen India-US synergy. The wish list prepared by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci) includes support to the nuclear deal signed between the two nations, and enhanced role of Indian companies in America’s healthcare and software sector.

“These would include deepening Indo-US nuclear cooperation, move from a technology denial regime to a technology facilitating regime, engagement of Indian industry in President Obama’s plans to spend large amounts for infrastructure development, IT and skill formation in the US, engagement of Indian industry with US in the healthcare and software domains and engagement of Indian companies and government with the US for launching a second green revolution,” said Ficci secretary general Amit Mitra in a statement.

“Ficci expects Obama’s continued support to the Indo-US nuclear deal. US runs 104 nuclear reactors at 90 percent capacity utilisation levels. US companies are involved in setting up nuclear reactors in China, Taiwan and Korea and Indian companies look forward to similar engagement with their US counterparts,” he added.

Mitra said Ficci is hopeful that Obama would take steps to ensure continuity of the 123 Agreement - a pact for cooperation as a prerequisite for nuclear deals between the US and another nation, in this case India - and give shape to commercialisation of the agreement.

Ficci also urged President Obama to re-examine the “technology denial regime” towards India and create a framework under which dual-use technology can be shared with India as per the same terms and norms as applicable to other G8 countries.

“We expect him to view outsourcing as a business decision for US companies especially in the current situation where costs will play an important role. A US Chamber of Commerce study shows that 74 percent of the benefits of outsourcing actually go to US companies,” Mitra said.

“President Obama’s emphasis on controlling the ever-increasing healthcare costs in US is another area where Indian companies can play a key role through provision of IT services and through supply of generic medicines by pharmaceutical companies, which will all go towards reduction of overall healthcare costs,” he contended.

Ficci also identified agriculture as another crucial area for cooperation between India and US. “India is looking forward to a second green revolution and expects critical support from US as we go ahead,” the chamber said.

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