‘This is good time for US investors to return to India’

April 16th, 2009 - 7:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Urging for “greater US investment flow” into India, a top diplomat said here Thursday that this was a good time for foreign institutional investors (FIIs) to return to the country as the economic situation was improving.
Speaking at an interactive meeting with members of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) here, Meera Shankar, India’s ambassador designate to the US, underlined the need to take appropriate steps to further enrich the economic engagement.

She specifically referred to the decline in the share of the US in the overall foreign direct investment (FDI) India received last year.

“We need to take practical measures to ensure greater US investment flow given the enormous opportunities and the positive investment climate in India,” Shankar said.

In the case of portfolio investment, the diplomat observed that the Indian stock market seemed to have come out of the worst period, and this was a good time for FIIs to return to India.

Shankar also underscored the need for greater business involvement of the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) of India and the US.

“SMEs from both sides should be increasingly involved in transacting trade, technology transfer and joint ventures,” she said.

“Large enterprises in both countries have the resources and infrastructure to facilitate joint ventures and technical collaborations, but that is not true in the case of smaller enterprises, where some specialised help should be provided,” Shankar added.

Asked about the complex laws and regulations for the foreign investors in India’s infrastructure sector, she said this was the case in the US as well.

“In a democratic dispensation, where the rule of law and civil society have a greater say in the conduct of business, such problems often crop up,” the diplomat said.

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