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India explores new avenues with US for economic cooperation; Defense and Gas lead the business corridor says Rossow

By R Sayed

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Dec. 18, 2014: Richard Rossow is the Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies at CSIS. In this role he helps frame and shape policies to promote greater business and economic engagement between the two countries.

In an exclusive conversation with NRInews, he expressed his thoughts about the different Collaboration opportunities for India and US. Exploring the possibilities and depths of the Indo US relationship for economic development he added that India is still a few steps away from attracting US investors on priority. If there are positive improvements made to policies and engagement program for foreign investment, it might just be the catalyst to attract US investor’s attention.

Rossow sees a growing potential in Indo US business relationship for defense and gas. The current business endorsed between the two countries opens more opportunities for growth.

Oil and gas exploration in India is another opportunity which may bring the US Majors back to the table if favorable business conditions are made to happen in India.

Speaking about the “Make in India” initiative led by PM Modi, Rossow said that the manufacturers will come to India as the labor costs in China have escalated due to the slowdown of cheap labor migrating from the villages to cities. He further added, “The Make in India is a good initiative but the reforms underneath haven’t happened, but I do think some manufacturers will come here.”

Rossow further added that, ”The better reforms aren’t the reforms that welcome foreign companies but the reforms that unleash the entrepreneurship spirits of the Indians. These steps will help Indian companies to takeoff, creating opportunities for investments. When this happens, it can be a reason of interest to the foreign companies to look at India for their investment needs.

Further speaking about the investments in Infrastructure which has attracted US interest in the past, Rossow added,” The American companies might take building contracts but won’t come in the market as the primary contractors. He stated that unlike government of Japan who is bankrolling half of the infrastructural development of the Delhi – Mumbai industrial corridor, the US government doesn’t have the financial tools to do the same and the private sector is still reluctant to put forth such kind of risky capital because of its sour experiences from the past.