Kerry to seek greater access to US companies to do business in India

10 January 2015

US secretary of state John Kerry, will push India for granting greater access to US companies to do business in the country on a trip next week.

Kerry will also visit Europe to meet officials from Oman, Iran and Bulgaria, US officials said yesterday, Reusters reported.

The US state department said earlier this week that Kerry would travel to India this weekend to attend 'Vibrant Gujarat Summit' promoted by the prime minister Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad.

Among the top agenda items on Kerry's visit, which would be followed by a visit to the India by president Barack Obama on January 26 for the Republic Day celebrations, is eliminating barriers to US companies.

These include the challenges of local content requirements and patent enforcement as also liability protections for companies that seek play in nuclear power projects to meet the need for electricity for India's 1.2 billion people.

Meanwhile, IANS reported US officials as saying economic relationship would be a big focus of his discussions.

Kerry will travel to Ahmedabad to attend the Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit inaugurated by Modi, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki announced yesterday.

He will join leading US business executives and innovators at the Summit to highlight the critical role that US technology played in supporting sustainable economic growth across India and the Indo-Pacific region, as also strengthening trade and investment between the two countries, she said.

Noting that this would be the first time the US would join the event as a partner country, Psaki said "We expect that a big focus of the discussion will be about our economic relationship."

Kerry will hold separate meetings with US and Indian CEOs, Psaki said. "And so they'll be talking about the ongoing opportunities for the US to continue to invest in India and to increase that partnership."

Kerry will also visit a Ford plant that would be opening which was an example of the investment of the US in India, Psaki said.

Meanwhile, according to Richard M Rossow, CSIS Wadhwani Chair in US-India Policy Studies at Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington think tank, the table was set for a real transformation in bilateral relations in 2015.

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