Great interest about India among investors in US: Jaitley

Business Sunday 15/October/2017 12:29 PM
By: Times News Service
Great interest about India among investors in US: Jaitley

Washington: There is a great interest about India in the United States and among its investors, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Sunday said, adding that the relationship between the two countries was a "mature" one.
"There is a great interest about India in the US and among its investors," Jaitley told reporters as he winded up his week-long visit to the US during which he had meetings with US treasury secretary and the commerce secretary, addressed students of the Columbia and Harvard Universities and interacted with investors and American corporate leaders in New York, Boston, and Washington DC.
"Both, those inside the government and the US companies, have shown great interest in investing in India now," he said.
Jaitley, who led a high-powered Indian delegation to the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, said that the US companies are investing in India in a big way.
"You have Indians investing in the US, you have US companies investing in India. And, in November, a large contingent of US corporates are coming to India to invest," he said.
According to the United States Trade Representative (USTR) figures, India was US' ninth largest trading partner with the total two-way trade of $67.7 billion last year
It is loaded in favour of India, which runs a surplus of $24 billion.
Jaitley said the relationship between India and the US on the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was a "mature" one...and expansion of key sectors like aviation and defence would play a key role in increasing the bilateral trade to $500 billion per annum," he said.
The finance minister said India was among the largest recipients of FDI since it had "one of the most open policies as far as investment is concerned."
"I'm quite sure that we will continue to get the benefit of that investment," he said.
"I think it's a strategic relationship which is bound to be further consolidated," he said.
During his week-long visit, the minister had more than a dozen meetings in addition to his bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank meetings.
The finance minister said that India's capacity to undertake structural reforms even in a globally adverse environment was being appreciated globally.
"This is a fact which almost the whole body of investors and also a large number of my counterparts in other parts of the world acknowledges," he said.
"If areas like defence, civil aviation, which are very high investment areas, if you see investment pouring into those areas, it is obviously going to have an impact," he said.
Fiscal stimulus
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has said that he never talked about any stimulus package for boosting economy.
The media has spoken about it and "you should ask" them on it, Jaitley said when asked whether the government was considering a massive fiscal stimulus package.
"I have not used that phrase (fiscal stimulus). I said, we will respond to situations and your fraternity translated the word respond as meaning stimulus. So you are the ones who should be answering and not me," the minister told reporters here in response to a question.
His remarks came amidst an increased speculation over a possible fiscal stimulus after six successive quarters of dip in the economic growth, which slid to 3-year low of 5.7 per cent in the April-June quarter.
Noting that his government had inherited a huge fiscal deficit just three-and-a-half years ago: 4.6 per cent, the minister said that gradually India has been moving on a glide path, which will continue.
"What are the requirements on the economy? How steep is that glide path, You can decide on a year to year basis," he said in response to a question.
He also said that the Reserve Bank of India is a mature institution and it knows what to do.
"They know that inflation management and growth both have to be balanced. RBI has an expertise of its own. They take their decisions accordingly," said Jaitley, who is here on a week-long visit to the US to attend the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.