Jaitley urges US firms to invest in India

New Delhi, Sep 14 (IANS) Ahead of the first India-US Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (SACD) in Washington later this month, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday invited American business to invest in India towards realising the target of quintupling bilateral trade.

“Today, our ambitions are very high, to increase of bilateral trade five-fold over the current levels,” Jaitley said at the 11th economic summit here organised by the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

“Both India and the US are natural allies, both democracies. While the US has the financial capital and advanced technology, India has a large body of trained manpower, natural resources and a large market,” he said.

India is the second largest source of foreign direct investment in the US, and the largest in Britain, Jaitley added.

India-US trade currently has an annual turnover of $100 billion.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit Facebook headquarters in California, US, later this month, the social networking site’s co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced on Sunday.

Jaitley said that ensuring a predictable taxation regime in India and improving ease of doing business “are works in progress”, while efforts have been made to evolve a very “fair” taxation regime.

The minister said declining oil and other commodity prices in this phase of global financial turmoil have helped India as the country is a net importer of commodities.

US ambassador to India Richard Verma said Modi’s forthcoming visit to the US, especially to San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, has generated a lot of excitement as he will be the only second Indian prime minister to visit California after Jawaharlal Nehru.

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