USIBC-CII to lobby for bilateral investment treaty

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Washington, Jun 26: The US-India Business Council (USIBC) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) have agreed on a work-plan for 2008-2009, which includes pursuit of a Bilateral Investment Treaty(BIT) between the two countries.

Former Deputy US Trade Representative (UDTR) Ambassador Susan Esserman, a member of the USIBC Board of Directors, presented on Monday, June 25 a compelling case to the visiting CII Delegation on how a Bilateral Investment Treaty between the US and India will enhance greater investment flows to both countries.

Under Secretary for International Affairs at the US Department of Treasury, David McCormick, underscored the importance of such a bilateral agreement, highlighting that investment between the US and China is almost 10 times greater than between the US and India.

''An Investment Treaty with India, is another important rope, among many, connecting two ships heading in the same direction that have common interests and converging economic ties,'' he said.

CII President K V Kamath who serves as CEO&Managing Director of ICICI Bank Ltd, India's largest private sector bank, pledged support for the Bilateral Investment Treaty.

Mr Kamath was joined by Executive CEO delegation from India including Gopal Srinivasan, TVS Capital Funds; Hari Bhartia, Jubilant Organosy; Syamal Gupta, Tata International; Rajan Navani, Jetline Group of Companies; Harpal Singh, Ranbaxy Laboratories; Jignesh Shah, Financial Technologies India; and Chandrajit Bannerjee, CII.

Mr Kamath expressed optimism for the US-India relationship, noting that many areas are ripe for greater collaboration, including ''skilling improvements and education''.

The US-India Business Council (USIBC), formed in 1975 at the request of the Indian and US Governments, is the premier business advocacy organisation representing 280 of the largest US companies investing in India, joined by two dozen of India's largest global companies. USIBC's mandate is to deepen US-India commercial ties.

UNI

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