Press Trust of India: Business environment in India quite different today: GIPC

Press Trust of India

Business environment in India quite different today: GIPC

January 23, 2015

The business environment in India is quite different today from before and there is “180 degree change” in the Government’s efforts to engage in a dialogue with the international private sector on trade issues, a top US business community has said.

“Since the election of Prime Minister Modi we have seen a 180 degree change in the Indian Government’s willingness to engage in dialogue with the US Government, I believe with the private sector internationally,” said Patrick Kilbride, executive director for International Intellectual Property, US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center.

In a conference call with reporters ahead of the India visit of US President Barack Obama, Kilbride said the new business environment in India is quite different from the one before Modi became the Prime Minister of India.

He said in the years prior to Modi’s victory, there was deteriorating environment for businesses overall in particular for foreign investors and intellectual property rights were eroded.

“We see a relationship emerging here, where we transcend where we have been in the past with India and opens up unlimited potential for collaboration,” he said, adding that there are concrete steps that need to be taken.

Joining the conference call, Chris Moore, senior Director for International Business Policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), said “reboot” of India-US relationship has taken place now and Obama’s trip to New Delhi is further evidence of a partnership on the mend.

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen other positive signs. India and the US are re-engaging on a range of trade, investment and intellectual property matters,” he said.

“The question now is not what do we say to each other but What can we accomplish together,” Moore said.

Next week is critical opportunity for President Obama and Prime Minister Modi to engage business leaders from both the countries to begin to define a shared vision and a common economic agenda, he said.

To put the India-US trade and investment relationship on a positive path, talk must turn to action that delivers real results, he said, adding that action is needed to lower Indian tariffs that exceed 100 per cent on products ranging from autos and textiles to distilled spirits.

“Action is needed to restore zero duties on a range of telecommunications products covered by the WTO Information Technology Agreement. Action is needed to strengthen India’s protection of ideas, brands and innovations,” Moore said.

Observing that a level playing field is critical for large and small businesses, Moore said if India wanted to open up its economy the rewards for it and the US would be substantial.