Investor confidence in India still shaky: US envoy Verma

24 February 2015

Underlining the need for India to address issues related to investor confidence and intellectual property rights, newly-appointed US Ambassador Richard Verma said in Hyderabad today that the investor community is eagerly awaiting the results of the initiatives being taken by the Indian Prime Minister.

He was speaking on the topic 'India and the United States: Building Strong and Sustainable Economies for Our People,' at an event at the Indian School of Business (ISB).

''As you all know, at 142 in World Bank ranking, investor confidence (in India) is still shaky. Intellectual property enforcement is perceived as still closed to outside investors.

''We know that the Prime Minister has made rapid rationalisation of bureaucratic procedures a priority on his list of reforms. We eagerly anticipate progress in this direction,'' Verma said.

Referring to a conversation he had, he said a hotelier told him that it takes 80 permits to build a hotel in India while the same could be done with just six in Singapore.

There are 30 million to 40 million pending cases in Indian courts, Verma he said, quoting reports.

He said the Indo-US trade volume would touch $500 billion, as anticipated by the American President, in due course.

The 46-year-old US envoy, who took charge in mid-January, said both the countries are actively cooperating in areas such as skill development and clean energy.

''Today the (USA) State department is working closely with the ministry of human resources development to help the US community to partner with Indian polytechnic schools to improve curriculum and build strong relations with industry.''

Later, in an interactive session, the envoy said that both nations would also cooperate in cyber security, counter-terrorism and space technology.


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