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US firms eye Bihar

Several American firms are looking to invest in Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) and Bihar in sectors, including healthcare and food processing, according to Mukesh Aghi, president, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum (USISPF).

Meetings will be held soon in this regard between senior officials of the U.P. and Bihar Governments, the Indian government’s investment promotion and facilitation arm ‘Invest India’, the concerned U.S. companies and the USISPF. The USISPF is an industry body with its board comprising top executives from leading firms including Mahindra Group, Marriott International, Adobe Systems and FedEx Corporation. The board also has representation from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, PepsiCo, Dell EMC, Boeing International, Lockheed Martin International, LyondellBassell (plastics, chemicals and refining) and Water Health International (drinking water) among others.

Agriculture sector

In agriculture/food processing, the U.S. companies will bring in supply chain management to avoid wastage, as well as their expertise in packaging and water preservation, he said.

On the India-U.S. defence ties, Mr. Aghi said the aim was to replicate the “pharmaceutical model” — where Indian generic firms, with their affordable drugs and with a sizeable market share in the U.S., are helping in savings of billions of dollars to the U.S. Government. “We are looking into whether we can emulate that model on the defence side. India has the brain power and skills. If the same equipment can be made in India at much lower costs, it can bring savings to the U.S. defence budget. So, we are working with a lot of companies on the defence side to bring in more transfer of technology,” he said. There will be talks soon in this regard with Indian defence ministry officials, he said.

On the U.S. interest in India’s infrastructure sector, Mr. Aghi said U.S. pension funds are keen in this regard. “These funds see political stability in India and much higher return of investment in India than they get in the U.S. or in many other parts of the world,” he said.

Source: The Hindu

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