Predictability, ease of doing business essential for foreign investment: Banga

New York, Sep 25 (IANS) India needs to have predictability and ease of doing business to attract the investment needed for reaching Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s target of creating one million jobs a month, MasterCard CEO Ajay Banga said after meeting him.

Banga, who is also the chairman of the US-India Business Council, said on Thursday that Modi has an understanding of the challenges he faces and is very focused on what needs to be done to achieve his goals.

Speaking to reporters at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel here, he said: “Every time I meet him he asks, ‘What can I do better’.”

Modi also asks about how US businesses perceive India, he added.

Banga was among several corporate leaders who on Thursday met Modi, who is focusing on attracting US businesses to his “Make in India” and “Digital India” programmes.

Asked by reporters if businesses were concerned about slow pace of reforms, he said: “Everyone has apprehensions but they also see the positives.”

“We in business see both the positives and the negatives,” he said, adding that India needs to have more positives to be attractive for investments.

Banga noted that there was an increase in foreign direct investments and the Indian economy was doing better. He said that MasterCard had recently bought two companies, one in Vadodara and another in Pune.

Companies that want to invest in India look at the talent pool and the market base that India has to offer, he added.

Banga said that India and the US should work on a bilateral trade treaty as that would be a big boost for the Indian economy.

He said that India should aim to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum because it would not only benefit India but also the 21-member group that stretches across Asia to the Americas.

Banga, along with former Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran, is a member of a high-level task force set up by the Asia Society Policy Institute to construct a road map for India’s inclusion in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.

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