UP hasn?t done enough to attract US investment

HERE is some food for thought. The American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) feels that the Uttar Pradesh Government has not done enough to attract American investment for new industrial projects to the State. AMCHAM India is an association of American business organisations operating in India. It has a list of over 380 members, a majority of them are global leaders in their product domains.

india Updated: Feb 07, 2006 01:06 IST

HERE is some food for thought. The American Chamber of Commerce in India (AMCHAM India) feels that the Uttar Pradesh Government has not done enough to attract American investment for new industrial projects to the State.

AMCHAM India is an association of American business organisations operating in India. It has a list of over 380 members, a majority of them are global leaders in their product domains.

“We have American companies in the ‘Fortune 500’ list as members at AMCHAM India. And these global conglomerates are investing in States where the governments are offering several incentives to American businessmen, including tax concessions,” AMCHAM India chairman Amrit Kiran Singh told the HT in an exclusive interview.

“A lot of American investment has gone into States such as Tamil Nadu and Karnataka for setting up various projects in the past few years.

The Uttar Pradesh Government should take proactive steps to promote the flow of American investment to the State,” he said.

Singh further said, “Uttar Pradesh, with its large consumer base, however, offered a massive retail opportunity for American companies for the past many years. They (American companies) have a large presence in the retail sector, where huge investments had been made to set up large product distribution networks.”

The AMCHAM India’s perception about further investment opportunities in India is that there are still too many “bottlenecks” in terms of lack of proper infrastructure in India for American investments to pay off in the medium term.

“We (AMCHAM India members) will meet Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia on February 20 this year in New Delhi to present him a set of “sectoral reports” for eliciting government response and suggestions on areas, which could attract American investment,” he said.

The “sectoral reports”, to be presented to the Planning Commission, are in the areas of insurance, finance and banking, power, telecom and agriculture.

These “sectoral reports” had received an overwhelming response from American businessmen keen to invest in India, Singh said.

To a question on whether the AMCHAM India has an agenda to convince the Left Front on the benefits of allowing FDI in India , he commented, “The Communists in India look to senior trade union leaders above the age of 65 for advice.

Their (trade union leaders’) perception about the Indian economy is not only old, but also very different from that of millions of Indian youngsters who aspire for world-class products and an economically developed India.”

“What India needs right now is 20,000 ‘Gurgaons’, with state-of—the-art infrastructure and a full-fledged liberalisation policy to attract more FDI.

In a place such as Gurgaon in Haryana, the salary of a car driver is 25 per cent higher than his counterpart in New Delhi. This is only because large MNCs have set up base in Gurgaon,” Singh added.

First Published: Feb 07, 2006 01:06 IST