US-India trade body fully backs Modi’s digital initiatives

India PM Narendra Modi in US
Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Silicon Valley, the US-India Business Council has expressed support for his key initiatives such as Digital India, Start up India, Stand up India, and Skill India.

Modi’s goal of making India a top 50 country for ease of doing business “will be instrumental to attracting greater foreign investment to the country”, the largest US bilateral trade association said in a statement on Friday.

“The Council and member companies are eager to support Prime Minister Modi’s initiatives in all ways possible,” said USIBC president Mukesh Aghi.

“Together we can provide jobs, opportunity, and prosperity to both of our countries and this is the time to seize the opportunities and potential of our relationship.”

Made up of over 300 top US and Indian companies, USIBC will host Modi for a dinner reception in San Jose, California on Saturday with incoming USIBC chairman John T. Chambers, executive chairman of Cisco.

The event will provide Silicon Valley-based companies an opportunity to interact with the prime minister and promote avenues for future collaboration with India, USIBC said.

“Modi will be looking for investments, jobs, and a platform to tell the world that India is open to do business – especially in the technology field, where it already has an impressive $100 billion IT industry,” Aghi said.

“We absolutely agree with the prime minister’s goal of making India a top 50 country for ease of doing business,” he said.

“Such a climate will be instrumental to attracting greater foreign investment to the country.”

“All of the prime minister’s programmes ultimately have a ‘digital’ focus — Smart Cities, the national financial inclusion plan, Skill India and Start up India, Stand up India,” said Aghi.

Digital India, he said, is a vast and expansive vision and the key to fulfilling the economic and social progress of the nation.

“US companies, especially those located in the Silicon Valley, have a great deal to bring to these efforts, beginning with their technology, capital, intellectual property, and desire to be long-term players in India’s future.”

“Today, around 15 percent of startups in Silicon Valley have been founded by Indians,” Aghi said.

“They represent a cross border flow of ideas, information and knowledge as well as the progress of the US-India partnership in recent years,” he said, adding that this “community is eager to be a part of India’s growth story and as a result, the Silicon Valley is perfectly poised to help transform India into a more networked and connected society”.

Arun Kumar / IANS