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US investment facilitation agency woos Indian SMEs

19 September 2014

Vinai ThummalapallySelectUSA, an American investment facilitation body, is wooing Indian small and medium enterprises to invest in the United States, to benefit from the huge potential that exists for them to either open shop or grow their business in that country.

By locating their business in the US, Indian SMEs could become globally competitive while expanding their the home business as well, Vinai Thummalapally, executive director, SelectUSA, who has previously served as US Ambassador  to Belize, told reporters in the capital today.

SelectUSA also said it would help in resolving concerns over visa issues by highlighting them before the state administration.

"What we do as an ombudsman is that we highlight the cases (visa related). We highlight the specific situation so that the agencies responsible come into the picture and make a resolution... When it is highlighted, it gets the attention," he said.

Thummalapally, who is also senior official of the department of commerce and became the first Indian-born US ambassador to afreign country in , is currently on five-city tour of India to encourage Indian investments into the US.

He will jointly make a pitch with Exim Bank chief in Mumbai on the benefits of making investments in the United States.

Thummalapally cited the examples of Maqdoom Bros, a fourth generation garment makers from Hyderabad who is opening shop in Chicago and S G Mills from Coimbatore which is opening shop in North Carolina as examples of investment potential in the US.

''There are thousands of companies-particularly in SME space - in India that could benefit from SelectUSA'', he said.

SelectUSA is a programme that is specifically focusing on helping Indian businesses to expand operations or open shop-make greenfield investments-in the US.

Launched in June 2011, SelectUSA caters to all Indian companies-both large and SMEs.

''It seems we are interested only with SMEs. We believe larger companies already have a footprint in US. Also they have capacity and existing relationships with us. We already work with them on a daily basis'', Thummalapally said when asked if SelectUSA was only focused on attracting Indian SMEs to US.

However, in the case of SMEs, there are thousands of Indian SMEs who could use SelectUSA services, he said.

''We mean business. We want to partner the SMEs. We want them to succeed in the US and want them to understand the opportunities''.

John M McCaslin, minister counsellor for commercial affairs, US Embassy in Delhi, said investing in US is all about being internationally competitive.

''If you have aspirations to be globally competitive-some of the Indian companies already are…We would like to see lot more Indian companies to be globally competitive. There are tremendous opportunities in US to help Indian companies become globally competitive'', he said.

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