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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Biden for further opening of the Indian economy 07-25

Biden for further opening of the Indian economy

Indicates that strategic partnership between the US & India also to grow further
Joe Biden
Joe Biden

US Vice-President Joe Biden on Wednesday made a strong case for India to further open its economy to attract more foreign investment and improve protection for intellectual property.

In his address to industry and business leaders at the BSE, Biden said opening of the economy would lead to a fivefold rise in trade between the US and India. Currently, bilateral trade between the US and India is worth $100 billion a year.

Biden said US companies were facing issues in India relating to the limit in foreign direct investment, local content conditions, barriers to market access and an inconsistent tax system.

He, however, hastened to add these issues could be negotiated. “Hundreds of millions of Indian consumers deserve access to the most-affordable products, and a graduate wanting to start the nextTata Motors should be able to buy the best parts available wherever they are made. The experience of developed economies shows the best way to boost growth is to open to the world,” he said.

Biden said India was a rising power, which had risen exponentially in the past two decades primarily because of the bold steps it took in 1991. “You took bold steps in 1991. Since then, phone users grew to 900 million from five million. Exports rose to $300 billion from $20 billion. There is no contradiction between strategic autonomy and partnership. We have to take it to a new scale,” the US vice president added.

“You have an extraordinary opportunity to unleash the immense talents of the people of India in the global economy and power India’s growth for decades to come,” Biden opined.
Stating American companies were interested in technology and infrastructure, he said, “We in the US welcome investments by India. The US has benefited due  to Indian human capital.” He said India's concern on food security needed to be addressed at the upcoming World Trade Organisation meeting in December.

Emphasising the importance of Indo-US relationships, he said, “We already are co-operating in the nuclear sector. A power project of 6,000 MW can be set up in Gujarat with supply of nuclear reactors from US companies.”

Biden went a step ahead and drew similarities between the US and Indian experiences of 9/11 and 26/11, respectively. He said the US had been sharing intelligence with India on terror in order to avoid a 9/11 and 26/11-like situation in both the countries.

He said the US wanted India to be a permanent member in the United Nations Security Council.

On the Afghan Taliban, Biden said the group should avoid violence and adhere to the constitution of Afghanistan.

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