US envoy praises Modi Govt, says NDA's economic reforms will encourage global firms

Narendra modi
Chennai, Oct 20: The NDA government's proposed economic reforms aimed at ensuring ease of business in the country will encourage more global firms to set up shop and expand here, US Ambassador to India Kathleen Stephens said.

The proposals may have been still in the early stage, "but the kind of programme the new government has laid out, of increasing the ability of foreign companies to invest here in India" will raise the country's standing as an investment destination, she told reporters here last evening.

One of the challenges India faced was that it was standing low in the ease of doing business according to global indicators, she said. However, the efforts by the Narendra Modi government in the areas of transparency and land acquisition among others, if implemented, will encourage more investment, she said.

"Some of those steps, if they are taken, I think that will encourage not only American firms, but others, many of whom have already done business and want to expand," she said. India offered many advantages in manufacturing base "but you need to have the infrastructure to do it," she added.

The US envoy, who earlier addressed members of the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) in her first visit to the city after assuming charge, outlined the growing bilateral relations in many areas even as she pointed out the two countries' willingness to forge more relations in the areas of security, Defence and civil aviation, among others.

Stephens particularly singled out terrorism as a common challenge faced by the two countries and said this was an area of mutual cooperation.

This was not only discussed during Modi's recent visit to the US but also when US Secretary of State, John Kerry, visited India in June this year, she said. The US missions in India had last year issued over 800,000 visas of all descriptions and "I believe we will soon reach the milestone of one million visas issued in a calendar year," possibly in 2015, she said.

Stephens said that US supported India's efforts to secure a "rightful and natural place" in the world.


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