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US looks for investments from India

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Indian pop musician Daler Mehndi was invited as the Guest of Honour alongside U.S. Congressman Mr. Pete Sessions, for the National Indian American Public Policy Institute’s (NIAPPI) ‘Azadi Diwas’ celebrations in New York. Daler Mehndi also graced the closing bell ceremony at the NASDAQ Stock Exchange at the heart of the city. (Photo: IANS)To address the imbalance of US investments in India being two-and-half times more in worth than the reverse flow, the US Department of Commerce Thursday announced it was making special efforts to encourage Indian businesses “set up shop in the US”.

The announcement was made here by Ambassador Vinai Thummalapally, executive director of SelectUSA, an arm of the US Department of Commerce whose brief is to attract and retain business investment in the US.

Thummalapally, originally from Andhra Pradesh and a former US ambassador to Belize in central America, is embarking on a week-long tour of five Indian cities, including Bangalore, Hyderabad and Coimbatore, to attract investments from these place to the US.

As part of its work of bringing potential investors in touch with the US economic development administration, a delegation from various American states is to come to India for the first time in the first half of 2015, Thumalapally told reporters here.

“There is tremendous bullishness in the US about Indian investments. Big Indian companies like Tatas, Mahindras and Reliance are already established there. We believe, there are thousands of Indian SMEs (small and medium enterprises) that can use our services,” Thummalapally said.

Established by President Barack Obama’s executive order in 2011, SelectUSA provides investment assistance, including ombudsman services on rules, regulations and taxation, to facilitate investors set up shop in the US.

A recent study by the Confederation of Indian Industry showed 68 Indian companies have invested nearly $17 billion in the US.

US is the fifth largest source of foreign direct investments into India with the cumulative US FDI inflows from April 2000 to March 2014 amounting to $11.92 billion constituting nearly 5.48 percent of the total FDI into India.

A few weeks ago in Mumbai, SelectUSA signed a Memorandum of Intent (MOI) with the Export-Import Bank of India, in the presence of US Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, to promote Indian investment to the United States.