US business gets a thumbs-up on Mumbai security

December 20th, 2008 - 11:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Dec 20 (IANS) US Government security officers in India have presented to American business a cautious but upbeat assessment of the security situation in Mumbai as life returns to normal in India’s financial capital.Officials from the American Embassy in New Delhi shared their assessment with member-companies of US India Business Council (USIBC), a premier business advocacy organisation representing 300 of the largest US companies investing in India and several global Indian companies.

Officials from the Indian Embassy here and representatives from the Taj Group of Hotels and Oberoi Group of Hotels, which faced the brunt of Nov 26 terror attacks on Mumbai also joined in the USIBC members-only security assessment tele-conference Friday.

The security assessment will be repeated early in the New Year to reassure business travellers and to restore investor confidence in India, USIBC said.

Officials from Taj and Oberoi properties which will reopen for business Dec 21 indicated that sophisticated security measures had been put in place since the attacks, reassuring future visitors and hotel guests, it said.

The US Embassy advised that groups and business missions were not being discouraged from coming to India and that the US government, for its part, was continuing to encourage commercial activity and travel between the world’s two largest free-market economies.

Friday’s USIBC Security Assessment Teleconference provided a unique forum for policymakers and officials from India and the US government to identify the progress made since 26/11 in restoring normalcy to Mumbai, while reassuring the international business community, USIBC said.

US Foreign Commercial Service officials indicated that investor confidence remains high, noting that “we have not seen a slowdown, and growth will continue in India at 6-7 percent.”

USIBC President Ron Somers reiterated his expression of solidarity with the people of India, saying, “The correct response to this heinous act is for the US business community to get right back on jet planes as soon as possible to renew our engagement and partnership with India.”

Indian Embassy officials here specified that steps were being taken to harden security across India, and expressed gratitude for the demonstration of solidarity shown by USIBC, the advocacy group said.

USIBC had launched the largest-ever Information/Communications Technology (ICT) Executive Mission to India Dec 8, despite the Mumbai attacks.

Indian and US government officials told USIBC members that airport security across India has been significantly tightened.

Indian officials stressed the safety of the country for investors and tourists and have begun a systemic review of all law enforcement agencies in an effort to revamp the national security apparatus.

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